Consumer Protection Law

The Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (the CPA) came into force on 1 April 2011. The CPA applies concurrently with various other pieces of consumer protection legislation such as the National Credit Act, the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, the Medical Schemes Act, the Foodstuffs, Disinfectants and Cosmetics Act and the Financial and Intermediary Services Act to name but a few. This means that it is always necessary to take an holistic view of the legislative landscape within which a business operates in order to ensure compliance.

Standard Bank loses case for failure to use plain language

The judgment in Standard Bank v Dlamini is good news for all plain language practitioners. Finally we have some case law to back the consumer's right to plain language given in terms of the NCA and the CPA.

Without giving the game away too much (I will be analysing the case in the November edition of the Consumer Law Review), here are the highlights:

GMO labelling justified or not?

After my blog post on the proposed changes to the current regulations on the labelling of foodstuffs which contain genetically modified organisms I have had many conversations about the issue as I feared (correctly it would seem) that coming at it with my attorney hat on would prove fallacious. I am not going to write a long post about this as the arguments are readily available.

Garnishee orders unfair?

It seemed obvious to me that I needed to address the issue of garnishee orders following my last blog on dishonest debt collectors.

Dishonest debt collectors beware!

Yesterday, the Sunday Times reported that the SABC is under investigation by the NCC for its unscrupulous debt collection methods and wildly inaccurate billing when it comes to unpaid TV licence fees. The interesting thing is that the complaints about the SABC's debt collection methods are methods which will probably be familiar to many debt collectors. According to the Sunday Times the complaints relate to the following practices:

Regulations on GMO labelling to change

The regulations on the labelling of products that contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms) is set to change. Currently, regulation 7 of the CPA governs this issue. It has been one of the most hotly debated regulations and now the Department of Trade and Industry wants to change them again. A notice describing these changes was published for public comment in the Government Gazette of 9 October 2012. Submissions must be in by 9 November 2012.

Is this where the word 'spam' comes from?

When did we start referring to unsolicited marketing messages as 'spam'? While researching my book, I found an article 'The regulation of unsolicited commercial communications (spam): Is the opt-out mechanism effective?' by Sebo Tladi in the 2008 South African Law Journal.

Is the Financial Services Industry pulling wool over consumers' eyes?

The Financial Services industry is in a state of flux. The Financial Services Laws General Amendment Bill (FSLGAB) was tabled in parliament on 25 September 2012. The aim of the Bill is to ensure that ‘South Africa has a sounder and better regulated financial services industry’ (see the Memorandum on the Objects of the Bill).

Financial Services Laws General Amendment Bill tabled in Parliament

According to the South African Government News Agency (SANews) the Financial Services Laws General Amendment Bill was tabled in Parliament last week.

In short, 'the Bill, which was released for public comment in March, addresses urgent issues in eleven financial sector laws, including legislative gaps that were highlighted after the 2008 financial crisis and to align these laws with the new Companies Act, 2008, and other legislation.'


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