Consumer Protection Act

Introduction:

                   

The Consumer Protection Act (referred to hereafter as the CPA or “the Act”) intends to regulate the marketing of goods and services to consumers, as well as the relationships, transactions and agreements between the consumers and the producers, suppliers, distributors, importers, retailers, service providers and intermediaries of those goods and services. The purpose of the Act is to ‘promote and advance the social and economic welfare of consumers in South Africa’. Most entities,

                  

supplying goods and services in South Africa, as well as the transactions they enter into with consumers will be governed by the Act. The preamble to the Act identifies the need to ensure accessible, transparent and efficient redress for consumers who are subjected to abuse or exploitation in the marketplace. It therefore intends;

  • To improve access to, as well as the quality of, information that is necessary for consumers to make informed choices,
  • To protect consumers from health and safety hazards,
  • To promote consumer education,
  • To establish a legal framework for the achievement of a consumer market that is fair, accessible, efficient, sustainable and responsible,
  • To promote fair business practices,
  • To protect consumers from unfair, unreasonable and/or improper trade practices
  • To protect consumers from misleading, deceptive, unfair or fraudulent conduct and/or actions, and
  • To provide for systems of dispute resolution and enforcement.

 

The enactment of the CPA is a clear indication that the legislature has taken note of international trends in the consumer protection field, and that it endeavours to bring our law in line with international consumer law and practice. It is further a governmental recognition of the limitations of legal systems. The Act also introduces dedicated administrative institutions and legal procedures, like specialized courts and tribunals, to protect both individual and class rights, and to supplement traditional legal institutions.

                       

While South Africa has previously had consumer protection laws, the CPA is much wider in scope and application. The Act seeks to consolidate consumer law in South Africa. It has repealed in part or as a whole a number of pre-existing Acts, including the following legislation:

  • The Business Names Act
  • Price Control Act
  • Consumer Affairs (Unfair Business Practices) Act
  • The Merchandise Marks Act (In part)
  • The Sale and Service Matters Act
  • The Trade Practices Act

Various other laws in this realm remain, like The National Credit Act 34 of 2005, The Long Term Insurance Act 52 of 1998, The Short Term Insurance Act 53 of 1998 and the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act 37 of 2002.

                

The objectives of this course are the following:

  • To understand the Act
  • To know your obligations
  • To understand how to protect your business

              

This manual must not be seen as a substitute for legal advice. The Act contains a number of obscurities and is still untried and tested. No legal precedent, case law or actual interpretations are currently available. We also don’t know whether it will only be implemented in part on 1 April 2011, or whether the whole act will come into force at once. The firm intention of the legislator is however quite clear, and this course will endeavour to inform and prepare you for what is about to come.

                   

The Act is written in fairly understandable language. Of particular importance are the definitions as they contain a number of keys essential for understanding the scope and application of the Act. This course will include the Act, and will follow its classification and outline. Some self-explanatory sections will merely be quoted, while other more contentious sections will be explained in more detail. The course will also try and explain these sections, their possible effect, their context, and possible ways how to protect your businesses.

Case Law Summaries and Articles

 

Can employees be dismissed for refusing to accept new terms and conditions of employment?

Can an employer dismiss employees because they refuse to agree to a change to their terms and conditions of employment? An initial answer may be, “yes”.

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Escape route: “Resignation with immediate effect”

The latest case in the ‘disciplining employees who have resigned with immediate effect’ saga has brought about more uncertainty as to whether an employee who resigns with immediate effect shortly before a disciplinary hearing can avoid disciplinary action and subsequent dismissal.

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Freedom of expression or incitement to commit an offence? A constitutional challenge

On 4 July 2019, the North Gauteng High Court handed down judgment in the case of The EFF and other v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and other (87638/2017 and 45666/2017) in which the EFF and Julius Malema (the applicants) sought to have s18(2)(b) of the Riotous Assemblies Act, No 17 of 1956 (Riotous Act) declared unconstitutional.

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Consolidated, comprehensive or general final written warnings

Regarding dismissal, according to the Code of Good Practice, “the courts have endorsed the concept of corrective or progressive discipline. This approach regards the purpose of discipline as a means for employees to know and understand what standards are required of them.

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Courses and Workshops

 

                                         

 
 

Employment Equity Committee Training

23 August 2019 (Fully Booked)

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

29 August 2019 (Fully Booked)

Tsogo Sun: Century City: Cape Town

30 August 2019

Tsogo Sun: Century City: Cape Town

27 September 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

04 October 2019

Southern Sun: Maharani: Durban

Shop Steward Training

28 August 2019

Emperors Palace Convention Centre

Basic Labour Relations

04 September 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Course

12 September 2019

Southern Sun: Maharani Towers: Durban

The OHS Act and the Responsibilities of Management

13 September 2019

Southern Sun: Maharani Towers: Durban

19 September 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

28 November 2019

Protea Hotel By Marriott Tyger Valley: Cape Town

Managing Day to Day Issues/ Problem Employees Full day workshop

20 September 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

27 September 2019

Tsogo Sun: Century City: Cape Town

AARTO and the Impact on Your Business

03 October 2019

Emperors Palace Convention Centre

Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment Course

18 October 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

21 November 2019

Tsogo Sun: Century City: Stay Easy: Cape Town

Workshop Incident/Accident Investigation Course

25 October 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

22 November 2019

Tsogo Sun: Century City: Stay Easy: Cape Town

  

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