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THE UPS AND DOWNS OF THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT – ONE YEAR ON

An article published by I-Net Bridge took a look at the progress of the Consumer Protection Act one year after it came into force. As one of the most progressive pieces of legislation that affects business in South Africa, it serves to protect the consumer and ensure fair trade. The National Consumer Commission’s latest report shows the following:

  • The most complaints were in the telecommunications, health care, motor vehicle and airlines sector.
  • The commission handled 15 132 complaints; 4 500 requests for advisory opinions; 2 301 consent agreements were entered into with suppliers; 301 compliance notices were issued and 4 124 complaints were resolved.

Some critics believe the Act has been too widely applied – affecting areas like property, banking and insurance.  The financial services sector may be exempted from the ambit of the CPA entirely, according to the Financial Services Laws General Amendment Bill (which was published for public comment on the 9th March 2012), with the purpose of the FSLGA Bill to eliminate overlap caused by the CPA and to make the Financial Services Board the lead regulator where there is concurrent jurisdiction.  In the commercial property industry, on the other hand, there is widespread dissatisfaction with Section 14 of the CPA on the sector which included allowing a tenant 20 business days to arbitrarily cancel a lease agreement, and restricting the length of a property lease.

With reports that the Commission gets around 20 000 calls a month with only 4 000 of those resolved, there seems to be a lack of resources to handle the complaints.  Guidelines or codes of practices from various industries still need to be published and experts believe that there should be more provincial consumer bodies who can take the load off the central body.
 
Links
FASA INVITES NOMINATION TO SIT ON THE SSETA ACCOUNTING AUTHORITY
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THE UPS AND DOWNS OF THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT – ONE YEAR ON
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DIGITAL BANK SURVEY SHOWS FNB AS THE FRONT RUNNER IN INNOVATION
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TOP SPEAKERS AT FASA'S BUSINESS CONVENTION
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DON'T BE LEFT BEHIND – GET OUT THERE AND SEE AND BE SEEN AT FASA'S INTERNATIONAL FRANCHISE EXPO
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GET EDUCATED – THE FRANCHISE WAY
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Date: 17-19 May 2012
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