Consumer Protection Act: Update
While general provisions of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) will only come into effect from October this year, those provisions relating to product liability (s61), the establishment of the Consumer Commission (Chapter 5) and the promulgation of regulations (s120) have already come into operation as of April 2010.
Submissions of the 'Proposed Industry Code'
The process of submitting recommendations towards the drafting of the industry code has been concluded and the CGCSA has handed over the latest version of the 'proposed industry code' to the DTI.
Industry Submissions on the Drafting of Regulations
S120 of the CPA further makes provisions for the Minister to promulgate regulations for the implementation of the Act. Recently the CGCSA has been part of the Business Unity of South Africa (BUSA) delegation which successfully met and lobbied the DTI into making available the first draft of the regulations prior to them being made public. This afforded the industry an opportunity to engage and make inputs into the regulations which are still in the process of being drafted by the DTI.
Our reaction as the CGCSA was to organise sectoral forums to discuss sections of the CPA specific to different sectors of the industry in order to compile and make a consolidated industry submission to the DTI. The following sectors were identified and organised: Electrical & Appliances Sector (including Furniture Traders); Food & Beverages Sector and the Cosmetics sector. Objectives of these sectoral forums were as follows:
- Bring together all relevant stakeholders in the sector who should be present or form part of the working group;
- Identify and thrash out high risk or areas of concerns around the implementation of the Act;
- Identify those sections of the Act which are still going to be regulated by the Minister;
- Consolidate views and make submissions as an industry on those sections of the Act awaiting regulations; and
- Identify opportunities for Sector-specific codes or best practices which can be used to supplement the proposed Industry code
Training on the Consumer Protection Act
The CGCSA has been proactive in dealing with the CPA. A one day training programme has been developed to assist business in ensuring compliance with the Act. The CGCSA programme offers two options of training:
- An in-house training, where the training is structured to the specific business needs;
- A general session, where different businesses are present and the training is more generic. There will be an opportunity, however, in these sessions for businesses to raise and discuss queries specific to their business needs. The programme will run from July to September 2010 and anyone wanting more information can contact Lorraine Nadas on Tel: +27 (0) 11 789 5777 or at