Consumer Law

  • In our previous two blogs we looked at the choices a consumer has if he purchases a defective of a damaged item; especially related to motor vehicles.

    What we call the three R’s ie the choice is repair, replacement or a refund.

  •  car sally sell car privately

    We recently assisted a purchaser who had privately bought a motor vehicle from another private individual as a seller.

    The Toyota Corolla motor vehicle seemed at the time of the sale to be in good condition and the purchaser paid the seller the full purchase price of R 96000.00 by EFT and then took delivery of the vehicle. A short simple deed of sale was signed by both parties.

    Everything seemed to be in order.

  •  Termination of rental agreement1

    The inconvenience for a landlord caused by an early cancellation will no doubt be annoying  but it is clear that a tenant has the RIGHT to cancel a lease

    One of the matters that we specialise in is Consumer law and lease agreement terminations.

    Here is a recent query that was received by The Legal Advice Office last week:

    “Hi, Hugh. I refer to our telephone call. I bought a business last year in September and signed a three-year lease agreement for its premises with the landlord. I also signed as surety for my company which runs the business. The business is losing money each month and I need your advice and help on getting out of this lease. Can you please help me?”

    We will try to answer this question in this blog.

  • That does not mean reading, writing and arithmetic as per the school syllabus.

    It means: Repair, replace or refund.

    These are your 3 choices you have in the event of a material defect in an item that you have bought.

  • What do you do if you purchase a defective motor vehicle from a new or second hand vehicle?

    What recourse do you have?

  • The Common Law and the Consumer Protection Act: No 68 of 2008 (CPA): Refunds:

    At The Legal Advice Office, we often get asked about refunds due to consumers in terms of either the common law or in terms of the CPA.

    As a result of yet another two enquiries today regarding firstly, the recent purchase of motor vehicle which was previously involved in a collision (which fact was not disclosed to our client) and secondly, with regard to a vehicle that was bought last month and which quite clearly has numerous material defects which have now become apparent to the purchaser since the date of sale; we thought that we need to explain this issue of when you are entitled to a refund one again today.

  •  Auto Repair shop 2

    “Why is it that we now have legal recourse if we buy a motor vehicle which is defective or which was previously involved in an accident and this fact was not disclosed to us at the time that we bought the vehicle?”

     This is the question we were asked via our website.

    The answer to that question is that you have protection depending on the facts in both the common law of contract and also probably/possibly in terms of the Consumer Protection Act: No 68 of 2008 (CPA).

    In terms of the common law, you would have to rely on a breach of the contract terms by the seller of the motor vehicle or his/her bad faith, misrepresentation or failure to disclose.

  • The Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008: (CPA): Section 56 (2): Recap:

    We have recently looked at the implied warranty on the quality of goods guaranteed by the CPA and more particularly section 55 & 56 of that Act of Parliament.

    There is still a lot of confusion about the Consumer’s Right to choose a Repair, Replacement or Refund in respect of Damaged or Defective Goods as guaranteed by these sections of the Act.

    As we all know by now the Consumer Protection Act (CP Act) came into operation at midnight on the 31st March 2011.

    Section 56 (2) of the Consumer Protection Act, No 68 of 2008 reads as follows:

    “Within six months after the delivery of any goods to a consumer, the consumer may return the goods to the supplier, without penalty, and at the supplier’s risk and expense, if the goods fail to satisfy the requirements and standards contemplated in section 55 (Consumers rights to safe, good quality goods) and the supplier must, at the direction of the consumer, either:

    1. Repair or replace the failed, unsafe or defective goods, or
    2. Refund to the consumer the price paid by the consumer for the goods.”

    That seems pretty straight forward; and to a very large extent self-explanatory.

    Why then do so many suppliers duck and dive; and attempt to avoid their legal obligations to the consumer and their customers. The answer to this question is that it is a nuisance to a supplier and they need to take time out; and incur cost; in repairing, replacing or refunding a consumer for an item that they have already sold to them. Things were far too comfortable for suppliers before the advent of the Consumer Protection Act as they, in the past, would simply tell us that it was not their problem once we had taken delivery of an item and paid for it.

    One has to remember that the provisions of this Act and these sections do not cover private individuals as sellers; as they are not suppliers or service providers conducting their sale in the ordinary course of business. In short the act does not cover private sales. Your remedies in the case of private sales lie in the common law of contract.

    One has to look at the definition of “a consumer” and “a supplier; in order to get confirmation that private sales are not covered by these provisions of the Consumer Protection Act.”

    Section 1 is the definition section of the Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008.

    In section 1; “a consumer’ is defined in great detail. It will suffice for our purposes here to simply quote from part of the full definition: “A consumer means a person to whom those particular goods or services are marketed in the ordinary course of the supplier’s business.” The section then goes on to give a more comprehensive detailed definition which it is not necessary to dissect here but the definition of a consumer is very wide and includes just about anyone buying an item from someone else who is conducting a business enterprise in selling amongst other things that particular item/items.

    One also has to look at the definition of “a supplier” for clarity here.

    Section 1 also defines “a supplier” which means: “A person who markets any goods or services.”

    This is also a very wide definition.

    As a consequence, the Consumer Protection Act covers both goods and services provided by a supplier to a consumer.

    It does not apply to private sales as although all buyers are consumers as defined in the Act; the sellers however are not suppliers; as they do not sell their items in the ordinary course of a business enterprise; but only occasionally on a once off basis. Clearly there may be exceptions to this rule; eg someone who is not a dealer but runs a business selling second hand cars in his spare time. He may well then be a supplier as defined in the Act although not a registered car dealer.

    The Consumer Protection Act applies to all unsafe, damaged and defective goods; provided they are bought from a supplier acting in the ordinary course of his business.

    As a consumer of both goods and services our section 56(2) choice, as consumers, of “repair, refund or replace” in respect of damaged or defective goods is in addition to; and over and above the manufacturer’s warranty; and also in addition to, and over and above, any common law remedies that we may have; for example; where latent defects were deliberately not disclosed to us by a supplier.

    You, as a consumer could very well then have three separate potential claims available to you in a dispute with a supplier. These claims could be in terms of the CP Act, a common law remedy and/or in terms of a manufacturer’s warranty; provided that that dispute relates to unsafe, damaged or defective goods or services.

    In our next blog we will look at the implied warranty on repaired items as contained in section 56(3) of the Consumer Protection Act.

    Please visit our website at www.legaladviceoffice.co.za for more detail or send us an emailwith you queries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will revert within 48 hours.

    Should you have any queries please contact our offices in that regard.

    Should you otherwise wish to comment on this or any other legal topic; please also just send us an e-mail; and we will respond.

    Thank you.

    The Legal Advice Office Team.


  • It is all very well to talk about consumer’s rights and the protection afforded by the CPA; but how does one actually enforce ones consumer rights?

    The answer to this question is contained in Chapter 3 of the CPA which deals with the protection of the consumer’s rights and gives the consumer a voice where he/she can be heard.

    Chapter 3 consists of Part A to Part D; and it covers sections 68 to 78 of the CPA

  • As we saw on our last blog; that Chapter 3 of the CPA deals with the protection of the consumer’s rights and gives the consumer a voice where he/she can be heard.

    It consists of Part A to Part D; and it covers sections 68 to 78 of the CPA.

    In our last blog, we looked at section 69.

  • As stated in our previous blog; at The Legal Advice Office we get numerous enquiries from clients and consumers seeking our help in terminating lease agreements because of one reason or another.

    The CPA deals with the above subject and in our last blog we looked at section 14(1).

  • We were looking in an earlier blog of this week at section 55 and the implied warranty with particular emphasis on the sale of motor vehicles and disgruntled consumers who had recently bought a new or used vehicle from a motor car dealership and discovered defects or damage to its components shortly after the sale.

    If this situation has happened to you; you have the protection of the Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008 (CPA) and also the common law; unless you caused the damage or defect to the vehicle yourself.

  • n our last two blogs we have been looking again at the implied warranty on the quality of goods guaranteed by the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and more particularly section 55 & 56 of that Act of Parliament.

    As we now know; we, as consumers, have the choice of repair, refund or replace in the event of goods bought by us being defective or damaged at the time of the sale.

  • We have been looking at the implied warranty on the quality of goods guaranteed by the Consumer Protection Act and more particularly section 55 & 56 of that Act of Parliament.

    As we now know; we as consumers have the choice of repair, refund or replace in the event of goods bought by us being defective or damaged at the time of the sale.

    This rule also applies to a motor vehicle; both new and used.

  • The Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008 (CPA): The Consumers rights to safe, good quality goods. Continued: Section 55: Section 55(3).

    In our last blog we looked at Sections 55 (3).

    Today we will turn our attention to section 55(4).

    Section 55 (4) in its totality reads as follows:

  • The Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008 (CPA): The Consumers rights to safe, good quality goods. Continued: Section 55: Section 55(5) & (6).

    In our last blog we looked at Sections 55 (4).

    Today we will turn our attention to sections 55(5) & (6).

  • The Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008 (CPA): The Consumers rights to safe, good quality goods. Continued  Section 55: Section 55(5) & (6).

    n our last blog we looked at Sections 55 (4).

    Today we will turn our attention to sections 55(5) & (6).

  • food safety 5

    Strictly speaking, the three laws are all different and in separate categories of the law.

    Consumer Law and some related fields:

    The close relationship between Food Law, Medicine Law, and Consumer Protection Law are often mentioned interchangeably in the press; although strictly speaking they are all different and separate categories of the law.

    We will today look at these three branches of the Law and see how they interact with one another.


  • One of the issues that crop up on a regular basis with The Legal Advice Office are queries and advice sought from us when you have been lied to or, at least, not been told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
    If someone sells you an item, for example, a motor car, and they do not fully disclose to you any defects in that vehicle that they knew about or should reasonably have known about; then you have certain legal rights and recourse.

  • CONSUMERPROTECTION

    Motor vehicles are one of our most prized possessions and yet many of us have nightmares when we buy a motor vehicle from a dealership and we have numerous problems with the vehicle we bought.

    This happens often; but there is a solution.

    Over the past month; we have had numerous queries from consumers who have bought cars from second hand car dealers; and who are a short while later, discovering various serious defects in those vehicles.

    This clearly is a problem and the dealers, by and large, do not abide by the law or otherwise seek to interpret in a manner which is beneficial to them and not the customer.

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Legal Advice Office

South Africa

Kandelaar Street, Vermont, Hermanus
Phone: +27 (028) 316 2832
Email: info@legaladviceoffice.co.za