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South Africa
NATIONAL LEGISLATION OVERVIEWS
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Consumer Protection Act, No. 68 of 2008

Long title


To promote a fair, accessible and sustainable marketplace for consumer products and services and for that purpose to establish national norms and standards relating to consumer protection, to provide for improved standards of consumer information, to prohibit certain unfair marketing and business practices, to promote responsible consumer behaviour, to promote a consistent legislative and enforcement framework relating to consumer transactions and agreements, to establish the National Consumer Commission, to repeal sections 2 to 13 and sections 16 to 17 of the Merchandise Marks Act, 1941 (Act No. 17 of 1941), the Business Names Act, 1960 (Act No. 27 of 1960), the Price Control Act, 1964 (Act No. 25 of 1964), the Sales and Service Matters Act, 1964 (Act No. 25 of 1964), the Trade Practices Act, 1976 (Act No. 76 of 1976), the Consumer Affairs (Unfair Business Practices) Act, 1988 (Act No. 71 of 1988), and to make consequential amendments to various other Acts; and to provide for related incidental matters.

Table of contents

SECTION TITLE

PREAMBLE
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
CHAPTER 1. INTERPRETATION, PURPOSE AND APPLICATION
Part A Interpretation
1. Definitions
2. Interpretation
Part B. Purpose, policy and application of Act
3. Purpose and polity of Act
4. Realisation of consumer rights
5. Application of Act
6. Threshold determination
7. Requirements of franchise agreements
CHAPTER 2. FUNDAMENTAL CONSUMER RIGHTS
Part A. Right of equality in consumer market
8. Protection against discriminatory marketing
9. Reasonable grounds for differential treatment in specific circumstances
10. Equality court jurisdiction over this Part
Part B. Consumer's right to privacy
11. Right to restrict unwanted direct marketing
12. Regulation of time for contacting consumers
Part C. Consumer's right to choose
13. Consumer's right to select suppliers
14. Expiry and renewal of fixed-term agreements
15. Pre-authorisation of repair or maintenance services
16. Consumer's right to cooling-off period after direct marketing
17. Consumer's right to cancel advance reservation, booking or order
18. Consumer's right to choose or examine goods
19. Consumer's rights with respect to delivery of goods or supply of service
20. Consumer's right to return goods
21. Unsolicited goods or services
Part D. Right to disclosure and information
22. Right to information in plain and understandable language
23. Disclosure of price of goods or services
24. Product labelling and trade descriptions
25. Disclosure of reconditioned or gray market goods
26. Sales records
27. Disclosure by intermediaries
28. Identification of deliverers, installers and others
Part E. Right to fair and responsible marketing
29. General standards for marketing of goods or services
30. Bait marketing
31. Negative option marketing
32. Direct marketing to consumers
33. Catalogue marketing
34. Trade coupons and similar promotions
35. Customer loyalty programmes
36. Promotional competitions
37. Alternative work schemes
38. Referral selling
39. Agreements with persons lacking legal capacity
Part F. Right to fair and honest dealing
40. Unconscionable conduct
41. False, misleading or deceptive representations
42. Fraudulent schemes and offers
43. Pyramid and related schemes
44. Consumer's right to assume supplier is entitled to sell goods
45. Auctions
46. Changes, deferrals and waivers, and substitution of goods
47. Over-selling and over-booking
Part G. Right to fair, just and reasonable terms and conditions
48. Unfair, unreasonable or unjust contract terms
49. Notice required for certain terms and conditions
50. Written consumer agreements
51. Prohibited transactions, agreements, terms or conditions
52. Powers of court to ensure fair and just conduct, terms and conditions
Part H. Right to fair value, good quality and safety
53. Definitions applicable to this Part
54. Consumer's rights to demand quality service
55. Consumer's rights to safe, good quality goods
56. Implied warranty of quality
57. Warranty on repaired goods
58. Warning concerning fact and nature of risks
59. Recovery and safe disposal of designated products or components
60. Safety monitoring and recall
61. Liability for damage caused by goods
Part I. Supplier's accountability to consumers
62. Lay-bys
63. Prepaid certificates, credits and vouchers
64. Prepaid services and access to service facilities
65. Supplier to hold and account for consumer's property
66. Deposits in respect of containers, pallets or similar objects
67. Return of parts and materials
CHARTER 3. PROTECTION OF CONSUMER RIGHTS AND CONSUMERS' VOICE
Part A. Consumer's right to be heard and obtain redress
68. Protection of consumer rights
69. Enforcement of rights by consumer
70. Alternative dispute resolution
71. Initiating complaint to Commission
Part B. Commission investigations
72. Investigation by Commission
73. Outcome of investigation
74. Consent orders
75. Referral to Tribunal
Part C. Redress by court
76. Powers of court to enforce consumer rights
Part D. Civil society support for consumer's rights
77. Support for consumer protection groups
78. Accredited consumer protection group may initiate actions
CHAPTER 4. BUSINESS NAMES AND INDUSTRY CODES OF CONDUCT
Part A. Business names
79. Identification of supplier
80. Registration of business names
81. Criteria for business names
Part B. Industry codes of conduct
82. Industry codes
CHAPTER 5. NATIONAL CONSUMER PROTECTION INSTITUTIONS
Part A. National and provincial co-operation
83. Co-operative exercise of concurrent jurisdiction
84. Provincial consumer protection authorities
Part B. Establishment of National Consumer Commission
85. Establishment of National Consumer Commission
86. Minister may direct policy and require investigation
87. Appointment of Commissioner
88. Appointment of inspectors and investigators
89. Conflicting interests
90. Finances
91. Reviews and reports to Minister
Part C. Functions of Commission
92. General provisions concerning Commission functions
93. Development of codes of practice relating to Act
94. Promotion of legislative reform
95. Promotion of consumer protection within organs of state
96. Research and public information
97. Relations with other regulatory authorities
98. Advice and recommendations to Minister
CHAPTER 6. ENFORCEMENT OF ACT
Part A. Enforcement by Commission
99. Enforcement functions of Commission
100. Compliance notices
101. Objection to notices

Part B. Powers in support of investigation
102. Summons
103. Authority to enter and search under warrant
104. Powers to enter and search
105. Conduct of entry and search
106. Claims that information is confidential
Part C. Offences and penalties
107. Breach of confidence
108. Hindering administration of Act
109. Offences relating to Commission and Tribunal
110. Offences relating to prohibited conduct
111. Penalties
112. Administrative fines
113. Vicarious liability
Part D. Miscellaneous matters
114. Interim relief
115. Civil actions and jurisdiction
116. Limitations of bringing action
117. Standard of proof
118. Serving documents
119. Proof of facts
CHAPTER 7. GENERAL PROVISIONS
120. Regulations
121. Consequential amendments, repeal of laws and transitional arrangements
122. Short title and commencement
Sch. 1 SCHEDULE 1.  AMENDMENT OF LAWS (SECTION 121(1))
Sch. 2 SCHEDULE 2. TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS (SECTION 121(3))

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