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Plain Language finally makes it to the High Court

I wrote this blog for Siber Ink who will be publishing my book on Consumer Law early next year.

The Durban High Court recently came to the aid of a consumer who had purchased a defective vehicle financed by Standard Bank. Mr Dlamini returned the vehicle to the dealership where he had bought it, because it malfunctioned within days of purchasing it. He asked the dealer for his refund and cancelled (or so he thought) the finance agreement.

Is South Africa over-regulated?

An article on BDLive - "Regulations, tax 'stifling small business" - caught my attention this week. I don't find it surprising that small businesses who try to comply with the regulations applicable to them are finding it difficult to keep their doors open. One of the complaints mentioned in the article is that chemical analysis of products is a cost which small producers can't afford.

1Time winding up leaves consumers high and dry?

The news of the winding up of 1Time airline has led to an investigation by the NCC into whether consumers will be refunded for their useless tickets (see 'Consumer watchdog mulls 1time probe' on fin24).

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).

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