Plain Language

The Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (the CPA) provides that all contracts with consumers must be in plain language. When it comes to terms and conditions, disclaimers, warranties and other contracts this is a foreign concept for many legal practitioners. Now it has become a fact of legal life.

We can assist you to ensure that your marketing material and contractual documents are in plain language while also ensuring that you have all the necessary contractual protection that you need.

We have also developed a franchise agreement which not only complies with the plain language requirement, but also complies with all the other requirements which the CPA places on franchise agreements.

We collaborate with the Unit for Document Design at the Stellenbosch University Language Centre. The Unit has a strong scientific foundation in plain language drafting and document design. With them we can develop a tailor-made solution to ensure that your documents are professional and consumer friendly. We provide the following services with the Unit:

  • Training in plain language.
  • Critical analysis of documentation.
  • Reader-focused usability testing.
  • Design or redesign of documentation (especially forms).
  • Editing and translation of documentation into various languages.

Go to the Stellenbosch University Language Centre website for more information.

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:

Protection of Personal Information Bill passed by the National Assembly

The Protection of Personal Information Bill was passed by the National Assembly on 11 September 2012. The Bill will must now be approved by the NCOP at which point only the President's signature is required to make it law.

See this excellent article by Webber Wentzel's Dario Milo and Greg Palmer in the Business Day.

Protection of Personal Information Bill is before the Justice Committee

The Protection of Personal Information Bill (POPI) is finally gaining momentum. Yesterday the discussion centred around whether the processing of information relating to criminal behavior (or conviction?) should be restricted. See the article in the Business Day for more information.

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