Legal Articles and Guides
The Consumer Commission is considering a ‘flood’ of complaints against Ford after the decision to recall the 1.6 Ford Kuga Ecoboost, says a Beeld report. The complaints are not limited to the Kuga. Spokesperson Trevor Hattingh said the majority of complaints are about burnt out vehicles and proposed action against Ford, and also proposals about what role the commission is supposed to play in terms of the Consumer Protection Act.
Lewis Group has dismissed allegations of wrongdoing relating to the practice of cancelling credit transactions in default and re-invoicing them as cash sales, saying this did not affect provisions for future bad debt. A Business Day report says in an interlocutory application that will be heard in the High Court tomorrow, Lewis has applied to have a request for detailed information on this practice denied.
On 13 September 2016, the Constitutional Court handed down judgment in a matter concerning an application for confirmation of an order of invalidity made by the Western Cape Division of the High Court and an appeal against certain parts of that order that declared certain specified words in section 65J(2) of the Magistrates’ Courts Act (Act) inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid to the extent that they fail to provide for judicial oversight over the issuing of an emoluments attachment order against a judgment debtor.
This week’s Constitutional Court judgment to change the management of emolument attachment orders (EAOs) is regarded as a ‘100% win’ for indebted people, according to Odette Geldenhuys, a senior associate at Webber Wentzel. A Fin24 report notes Geldenhuys is the pro bono attorney for the applicants who initially brought the case in the Western Cape High Court last year.
Almost R2m emolument attachment orders could be affected by a Constitutional Court judgment due to be delivered today, says a Business Day report. It adds the ground-breaking case was originally heard in the Western Cape High Court in February 2015, and it challenges the constitutionality of the process of granting emolument attachment orders in the context of unsecured lending.
You challenge the accuracy of a services account from your local municipality, thus: “Your meter must be wrong, no way was my consumption that high”. The reply: “We’ve tested the meter and it works fine. Pay up or face disconnection”. Off to court you go. Can you “fight city hall” and who has to prove what? There’s good news here for consumers in a recent High Court decision in Euphorbia (Pty) Ltd t/a Gallagher Estates v City of Johannesburg dealing with just such a situation.
Mass stores – the owners of Game – has been interdicted from trading as a supermarket selling fresh foods, fruit and vegetables in the Mthatha Plaza Shopping Centre, notes a Daily Dispatch report. Shoprite Checkers took on Game in the Eastern Cape High Court (Grahamstown) after it was clear it intended to start selling fresh produce, which contravened an exclusivity clause in Shoprite’s lease contract with Plaza’s landlord Whirlprops. In terms of that lease, Shoprite has the right to operate as a supermarket to the exclusion of any other tenant.
Two High Court judges have emerged as front-runners to become the next Public Protector in October when Thuli Madonsela leaves office, according to a Business Day assessment of this weekâ€™s meeting of Parliamentâ€™s special committee, which reduced a list of 64 nominees to 14. It says ANC MP Bongani Bongo got the ball rolling by nominating Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai and Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) Judge Sharise Weiner to head the short-list. The DAâ€™s James Selfe objected to Desaiâ€™s inclusion, arguing he had a record of highly political judgments, in one of which he ruled for the ANC and against the DA.
Almost every business in the world is going to experience a time when a customer fails, refuses or neglects to pay an invoice, and the business is then left with a bad debt in their books. The issuing of a legal letter of demand is traditionally the first step taken in order to recover that bad debt from the customer, and is sometimes a prerequite step before you can commence legal proceedings against the customer in a Court of law.
Pyramid schemes are in the news again. They are easy to fall for, with not only desperate pensioners and low-wage earners but also Captains of Industry and many otherwise-savvy investors regularly tricked into "investing" in them. The reason of course is that the con artists behind these schemes are adept at hiding their true nature, coming up like clockwork with ever more creative cover stories to lure the unwary.
At some point in one's life you are requested to provide certain FICA documentation, normally to your bank or to a conveyancing attorney as part of a property transaction. There is a lot of uncertaintyÂ regarding what documents are needed, especially when it comes to FICA documents for a minor, a non-resident individual, an estate late, a trust, a company, a non-resident company, a close corporation, a partnership, or an unincorporated entity.
If you are a bank (or other lender), or if you have borrowed money against your property and are facing financial difficulty, you need to know about a recent High Court decision declaring that a bank's loans to a farming couple had been granted "recklessly", setting aside the loans, and cancelling the mortgage bonds.
What is said below does not pertain to those property sales where the very robust buyer protections in the CPA (Consumer Protection Act) apply. Generally speaking the CPA applies only where the seller is selling "in the ordinary course of business" (a property developer for example), and most private sales will fall outside of the ambit of the CPA. That whole question is however a big topic on its own which we will deal with in a future article.
The Consumer Protection Act No. 68 of 2008 ('the CPA') has been hailed as the end of the voetstoots clause in sale agreements as we know it. While the provisions giving rise to the consumer protection bodies and those authorising the creation of regulations came into effect on the 24th April 2010, the remaining provisions, which apply to most businesses only came into effect on the 1st April 2011, this date being called the 'effective date' of the CPA. As such, the CPA is now the cornerstone of consumer rights in South Africa.
The implementation of the National Credit Act has drawn a lot of attention from credit providers and the Act is often blamed for the weak market conditions in retail, motor vehicle sales and the residential property market. The Acts application is far reaching. Implementing the new National Credit Act has also been a cumbersome and expensive exercise for many.
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