INTRODUCTION TO THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT
Click here to access a PDF version of the Consumer Protection Act – 356 kb.
The Act has been voted in on the 23rd of September 2008 and was signed by the president 29 April 2009. It will come into full force on 24 October 2010 although there are already some provisions which have been implemented.
The Act replaced existing provisions from five Acts, including the Consumer Affairs (Unfair Business Practices) Act of 1988, Trade Practices Act of 1976, Sales and Service Matters Act of 1964, Price Control Act of 1964, and Merchandise Marks Act of 1941 (specifically sections 2-13, and 16-17)
The government has at least set up Provincial Consumer Affairs Offices countrywide to provide consumers with protection, information and advice. You can approach a Consumers Affairs Office to intervene in disputes over contracts, quality of products or services.
You should first complain to the branch manager or customer care office of the business concerned before asking the Consumer Affairs Office to intervene. These offices have trained staff to advise you on your rights as consumers. You may also want to contact them to find out if a company you intend doing business with has a previous history of complaints against it.
- Eastern Cape – 045 808 4000
- Free State – 051 400 4852
- Gauteng – 011 355 8000
- KwaZulu-Natal – 031 310 5300
- Limpopo – 015 293 8300
- Mpumalanga – 013 752 3761
- North West –018 387 7700
- Northern Cape – 053 839 4000
- Western Cape – 0800 007 081
Other consumer organisations
National Consumer Forum
Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA)
Financial Services Board (FSB)
Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA)