Legal Articles and Guides
Consumer Protection Law
Would you like a qualified Lawyer to assist you with your Consumer Protection Law question today? The new Consumer Protection Act is going to have a huge impact on virtually every business in South Africa. Are you covered? Would you like a qualified Lawyer to assist you with your Consumer Protection Law question today?
More than 225 applicants, mostly from Gauteng townships, have launched a suit in the Constitutional Court, claiming damages from the big banks for home repossession abuse. A GroundUp report says the applicants are claiming R60bn from the banks for unlawful repossession of homes since the Constitution came into effect in 1994.
A pensioner who invested in various property syndication schemes promoted and marketed by Sharemax Investments and Propspec, and was seeking the repayment of R1.54m he invested and lost in these schemes, has had his complaint referred to court. Pieter Taljaard filed eight complaints with the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (Fais) Ombud in 2012 on the investments, according to a report in The Sunday Indpendent.
Consumers locked into contracts ‘for life’, unable to sell timeshare points or give them away to escape spiralling levy costs, and others who alleged exploitation by unscrupulous salespeople, presented their cases to the National Consumer Commission (NCC) in Durban yesterday.
A Durban businessman who died in a hail of bullets while driving a courtesy car from Land Rover has posthumously emerged victorious in a claim against his estate that he is liable for the full value, about R560 000, of the bullet-riddled car, says a News24 report. In a recent judgment, KZN High Court Judge Dhaya Pillay cautioned that contracts – in particular those, as in this case, which were signed on the bonnet of a car – must be clear and uncomplicated and must accord with the law and the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act and not hidden in tiny print.
The perpetuity of timeshare contracts that cannot be cancelled was the dominant complaint at public hearings held yesterday in Cape Town. A Business Day report says the hearings were conducted by the National Consumer Commission (NCC) inquiry into the timeshare or holiday club industry. People complained that their timeshare contracts could potentially last forever and they could not get rid of them long after they stopped enjoying the benefits of timeshare.
The National Consumer Commission (NCC) is hoping that its public hearings into the timeshare industry will give rise to a single law to ‘effectively and comprehensively’ regulate the industry and give consumers the right to participate in the affairs of holiday club schemes. A Business Day report says NCC commissioner Ebrahim Mohamed has appealed to consumers to take part in the public inquiry process, which moves to Cape Town this week.
Here’s yet another reminder from our courts on how important it is – if you want to avoid the trials of litigation – for you to have your property sale agreement drawn up professionally. One thing it must do, as the case in question clearly shows, is record the terms of your agreement precisely and without any room for argument. This High Court case in Phepeng and Another v Estate Late Ame Combrinck and Others revolved around a “bond clause” in a sale agreement.
The inquiry into timeshare investment will get to the bottom of the issues raised by complainants, is the assurance from Consumer Commissioner Ebrahim Mohamed as the National Consumer Commission’s (NCC) first round of public hearings into the timeshare industry got under way.
The Black Sash Trust says it is disappointed by the court’s decision to refuse its application for leave to appeal an earlier ruling which allowed Net1 to deduct money from the accounts of social grant beneficiaries, notes a report on the IoL site. In May, the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) ruled against the order by the Department of Social Development and Sassa to stop Net1 from allowing deductions from accounts of grant beneficiaries.
The Consumer Tribunal has dismissed the National Credit Regulator’s (NCR’s) complaint against Lewis Stores relating to the retailer’s club fees and extended warranties. A Business Day report says the judgment has been met with dismay by a consumer group and the NCR is planning to launch an appeal.
Retailer Mr Price was referred yesterday to the National Consumer Tribunal by the National Credit Regulator (NCR) for being in breach of the National Credit Act, says a Fin24 report. This followed an investigation by the NCR, which revealed that Mr Price charged consumers a club fee on credit agreements, the regulator said.
A Consumer Commission inquiry into the ‘vacation ownership/timeshare industry’ launched yesterday will include a review of all legislation, policies and codes applicable to the promotion, rental, sale, re-sale, swap’ and reservation of timeshares.
The club fee charged by Edcon to its credit customers has been found to be unlawful and in contravention of the National Credit Act (NCA), notes a TimesLIVE report. The National Consumer Tribunal’s judgment followed an investigation by the National Credit Regulator (NCR)‚ which found Edcon charged consumers a club fee on credit agreements. ‘It is now settled that the charging of a club fee on credit agreements is not permitted by the NCA‚’ said Jacqueline Peters‚ manager of investigations and enforcement at the NCR.
Consumers, you now have more rights than ever! The Consumer Protection Act was promulgated by the President of South Africa on 29 April 2009 and is now in full force and effect as of 1 April 2011. Almost every inhabitant of this country is invariably a consumer and the Consumer Protection Act is here to protect you. Your consumer rights are actually embodied in one of the world’s most liberal pieces of legislation, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996. Consumer rights are inextricably linked to your right to human dignity and equality. Section 9 of the Constitution states that national legislation must be enacted to prevent unfair discrimination. The Consumer Protection Act is therefore a reinforcement of your rights contained in the Constitution and it affords you a more user-friendly approach in seeking redress of consumer violations. If you are doubting whether you are a consumer, note that a consumer means “user, buyer, purchaser, customer, shopper, client.”
Ford broke the law when it failed to tell the National Consumer Commission (NCC) of Kuga owner Reshall Jimmy’s death – and potentially jeopardised public safety by not telling the motor industry ombudsman. ‘It is clear that Ford was obliged to inform the commission of Jimmy’s death. They failed to do so. It has failed to comply with the law,’ Colonel Rozelle Kruger‚ a legal officer in the Western Cape Police Commissioner’s Office, is quoted as saying in a BusinessLIVE report.
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