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.

MTN compliance notice set aside by National Consumer Tribunal

The NCT has set aside the compliance notice which was issued by the National Consumer Commission against MTN in August last year. The reason for its decision goes along the same lines as the Vodacom decision which was made earlier this year. That is, that the NCC failed to 'consult' with ICASA as it is required to do in terms of s 100(2). In this case the Commission also failed to give reasons for its denial of the allegation that it did not have 'reasonable grounds' on which to believe that MTN is engaging in prohibited conduct.

The National Consumer Commission is being investigated by the Public Protector and the DTI

According to the Business Day the NCC is being investigated for allegations of irregular procurement and irregular recruitment. According to AG's report '[t]he commission entered into a five-year lease agreement for its offices, with a 10% annual escalation, which cst R3.7 million in the year to the end of March).'

Justice Committee will vote on PoPI on 5 September

I received a copy of the 9th draft of PoPI this morning. Apparently the justice committee will cast their final vote tomorrow (5 September 2012). There have been changes to the Bill (some fundamental some not).

I expect to have more news by the end of the week.

For how long will Ebrahim Mohammed be acting commissioner?

I came across this article in the Citizen about Mr Mohammed's appointment. The bottom line is that Sidwell Medupe (the DTI spokesman) said that 'Mohammed will act with full powers granted to post until such time as the ‘‘processes’’ involved in securing a permanent candidate to full post has been completed' and that they are not sure how long the short-listing and interview process will take.

Ebrahim Mohamed is the new 'acting' consumer commissioner

The Department of Trade and Industry has announced this morning that Ebrahim Mohamed will have the task of righting the ship at the National Consumer Commission. Mr Mohamed has been appointed as the acting national consumer commissioner. Whether he will be able to turn things around remains to be seen, but it seems that we have seen the back of Mohlala-Mulaudzi and the personality clashes which seemed to dominate her stint has commissioner.

Mr Mohamed was the deputy national commissioner. I assume that this appointment is temporary.

Protection of Personal Information Bill: Portfolio Committee met yesterday

The Committee met on the 28th, but word is that they did not finish their deliberations. It is expected that they will vote on the Bill next week (the week of the 3rd of September) once a new draft has been prepared. The Bill will then be sent to the National Assembly for a final vote after which it will make its way to the National Council of Provinces for approval.

Once enacted, the Bill gives companies a year to comply with its provisions.

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