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?
With the Constitutional Court having refused to hear the R60bn class action suit launched against the major lending banks, the case is heading to the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) early in the new year. The class action suit was filed in the Constitutional Court in August by more than 225 applicants whose homes were repossessed and sold at sheriffs’ auctions for a fraction of their market value.
Johannesburg attorney Gilad Cohen believes the Constitutional Court’s decision to dismiss an application to access the court by defaulting debtors who cannot meet their home loan payments does not help to alleviate unscrupulous behaviour by resellers, according to a Business Day report.
Consumer protection lawyer Trudie Broekmann is planning a class action against holiday club companies to demand that they refund their clients, notes a Moneyweb report. Broekmann says that she has been studying contracts of points-based time-share schemes, and believes they are not enforceable.
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) has issued a compliance notice to Volkswagen Financial Services SA for charging consumers an on the road fee‚ admin fee and handling fee on credit agreements, notes a TimesLIVE report. ‘These fees are not permitted to be charged on credit agreements by the National Credit Act‚’ said the NCR's Lebogang Selibi in a statement yesterday.
Despite the Constitutional Court’s landmark ruling on the illegality of certain practices in the administration of garnishee orders – made more than a year ago – activists claim that fee-gouging and fraudulent court orders are continuing unabated, according to Business Day. Lisinda Bailey, one of the applicants in the Western Cape High Court case on garnishee orders that was confirmed by the Constitutional Court, says her life was ruined by the irresponsible granting of credit and subsequent garnishees.
Home-owners who default on their bond payments should not despair as they will not lose their property if they pay before it is sold. The Star reports this was the message from Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) acting Judge JG Rautenbach, who said people often threw in the towel when they received an order that they had to repay the outstanding bond, as well as an order declaring that the property may be sold so that the bank could recover its losses.
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) has directed BMW to refund its customers for charging them an on-the-road fee on credit agreements, says a TimesLIVE report. The regulator said it was not aware what the fee was for as BMW did not explain when it inquired. The charges ranged from R3 000 to R6 000.
The SCA has overturned a High Court decision that had essentially rendered the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) toothless. A GroundUp report notes the SCA order was a settlement between the ASA and a company called Herbex, but it’s clear from the terms of the settlement that the ASA is the real winner in this case. The ASA is tasked with self-regulating advertising for the benefit of consumers.
POPI (the Protection of Personal Information Act) will provide welcome protection for our personal information – our names, ID numbers, addresses, medical histories and so on, but the other side of the coin is that it will expose small businesses in particular to a whole new raft of onerous obligations and risks.
A Cape Town car dealership has been ordered to refund a woman who bought a second-hand car in late 2015, only to have it break down a few days later. The National Consumer Tribunal found that Hanlie van Lill, of Kuilsriver, must be paid back the R61 450 she paid for her 2001 year model Volkswagen Passat, which broke down four days after she bought it, notes a Fin24 report.
Consumer protection, which includes being given access to a safe and dependable supply of food, is a fundamental requirement of any society. In transforming the South African food landscape, there have been gradual improvements to protect consumers, most notable with the advent of the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008. However, we still see unfit food products, especially in respect of mislabelled food products, reaching the store shelves.
Shoprite has been fined R1m for failing to assess properly whether consumers could afford its loans, says a Moneyweb report. The company – which had turnover in its last financial year of R141bn – was also ordered to appoint a debt counsellor at its own costs following what the National Credit Regulator (NCR) called ‘reckless lending’.
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.
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