On 1 April 2011 the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 came into full effect. The Act was signed by the President in 2009. Certain of the framework provisions came into effect on 24 April 2010. The Minister of Trade & Industry has also published regulations which provide much of the detail in relation to the implementation of the Act and certain of its key provisions.
This important piece of legislation will significantly change the way business is conducted in South Africa. The Act requires, among other things, that business dealings with consumers are fair and reasonable.
The Act has repealed and replaced (in whole or in part) various other legislation, including, the Lotteries Act 57 of 1997, the Consumer Affairs (Unfair Business Practices) Act 71 of 1988 and the Trade Practices Act 76 of 1976.
The impact of the Act on the manner in which goods and services are marketed and supplied in South Africa as well as the potential exposure to fines and increased consumer complaints makes it important for corporate companies to familiarise themselves (from a business and trade perspective) with the key provisions of the Act and to align their business practices and relevant agreements with the Act.
Our Consumer Protection Act team has advised extensively on this new piece of legislation and its impact on the South African market, including by conducting audits of terms and conditions and engaging with our clients to find practical ways of implementing the new requirements that the Act has introduced. The team conducts regular client seminars and sends regular client updates in relation to new developments arising from the Act. Members of the team have also published articles on the Act in a range of publications and news media and have given a series of television and radio interviews on hot topics.
Please note that we are a corporate law firm and as such we do not generally deal with members of the public. Please contact the consumer protection commission directly for any complaints.