No Junk Mail please

PrintPrint

In response to a letter in the Cape Times by Keith Gottschalk we indicated that there is a law that governs junk mail in your letterbox, but that the enforcement of the law is the problem at the moment. The full letter (as published in the Cape Times on the 10th January 2013) follows:

I refer to the letter by Keith Gottschalk entitled “Mail junk” in 4th January 2013 edition of the Cape Times. Mr Gottschalk may be interested to know that there is already a national law (rather than a bylaw) which prohibits junk mail being placed in your letterbox if you put up a sign saying “No adverts” on your mailbox. The law in question is the Consumer Protection Act no.68 of 2008 and this Act read with regulations 4 and 11 makes it illegal to put junk mail into a person’s mailbox when this sign is on the mailbox. A picture of the sign is contained in Annexure A of the Regulations and I attach a picture of it to this email. Of course the more important question then becomes how to enforce that no junk mail goes into his mailbox? The Act does not make ignoring the sign a criminal offence, but rather allows Mr Gottschalk (and other consumers in a similar position) to report this prohibited activity to the National Consumer Commission (NCC). In theory the NCC would then investigate the matter and issue a “compliance notice” which would prohibit the junk mailer in question from placing more junk mail into his mailbox (ignoring a compliance notice is a criminal offence). In addition the NCC is empowered to levy an administrative fine on the junk mailer. In practice it may be difficult to get the NCC in its currently dysfunctional state (the website at http://www.nccsa.org.za/ is still “under maintenance”) to take action but perhaps if a sufficient number of people were to complain this law may actually be enforced.

Areas of expertise: