Friday, March 05, 2010

New act protect consumers

By Ofentse Mokae
05 March 2010

Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Maria Ntuli, says the new Consumer Protection Act is a world class piece of legislation that will require world class implementation if it is to make any difference in the lives of South African citizens.

Ntuli who’s also a member of parliament, spoke during a national Consumer Protection Law Conference at the Gallagher Estate in Midrand yesterday.

Her department says in a statement the conference was held under the theme “Changing the Consumer Protection Landscape in South Africa”.

“The Act provides easy and simplified access to redress. But it is imperative that we give special attention to all the vulnerable consumers, particularly the low-income earners and those who live in remote areas, as well as the minors and senior citizens,” Ntuli said in her speech.

Ntuli added that one of the ways in which the new Act would benefit consumers was that they would no longer be required to go to courts at great financial costs.

This will instead, allow consumers to be assisted through redress mechanisms established and promoted by initiatives such as the National Consumer Commission, National Consumer Tribunal, Ombud schemes and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that will be accredited to deal with consumer rights and complaints.

The department says the conference was also graced by Chief Phathekile Holomisa President of the Congress of the Traditional Leaders of South Africa.

Holomisa said people who live in the rural areas, and those that are in the informal settlements of the urban areas, are the ones who bore the most brunt of violations of consumer rights.

According to information on the dti’s website the new act will come into effect on the October 01 later this year.


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