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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

Firstly we look at section 68.

In our last blog we looked at section 68.

Today we turn our attention to section 69 of Chapter 3.

So how does a consumer enforce their rights as a consumer against a supplier?

The answer to this question is in part set out in section 69.

Section 69:

“ A person contemplated in section 4 (1) may seek to enforce any right in terms of this Act or in terms of a transaction or agreement, or otherwise resolve any dispute with a supplier by:-

  • Referring the matter directly to the Tribunal if……..
  • Referring the matter to the applicable Ombud with jurisdiction if the supplier is subject to the jurisdiction of such Ombud….
  • If the matter does nor concern a supplier contemplated in ( b)
  • Referring the matter to the applicable industry Ombud.
  • Applying to the consumer court…
  • Referring the matter to another alternative dispute resolution agent…
  • Filing a complaint with Commission in accordance with section 71; or
  • Approaching a court with jurisdiction over the matter, if all other remedies available to that person in terms of national legislation have been exhausted.”

These then are the ways in which a consumer can enforce his/her consumer rights against a supplier in terms of either the CPA or in terms of any transaction or agreement with a supplier.

The “Tribunal” means the National Consumer Tribunal established by section 26 of the National Credit Act.

Section 69 refers right at the beginning to section 4(1) which deals with the “Realisation of consumer rights” and states:

“Any of the following persons may, in the manner provided for in this Act approach a court, the Tribunal or the Commission alleging that a consumer’s rights in terms of this Act have been infringed, impaired or threatened, or that prohibited conduct has occurred or is occurring:

  • A person acting on his or her own behalf;
  • An authorised person acting on behalf of another person who cannot act in his or her own name;
  • A person acting as a member of, or in the interest of, a group or class of affected persons;
  • A person acting in the public interest, with leave of the Tribunal or court, as the case may be; and
  • An association acting in the interest of its members.”

 The bottom line of section 69 is that a very wide group of people are allowed to approach a court, the Tribunal or the Commission to enforce consumer rights or to lodge a complaint against a supplier.

All consumers are however strongly advised to contact offices in the event of any consumer dispute so that we can advise you on any consumer queries; your rights, obligations and the best way to deal with your particular problem based on the facts given to us by you. You are furthermore advised not to simply attempt to deal with these issues on your own; as the man in the street would not normally have the necessary legal or practical experience, or necessary expert knowledge to do so.

Once again; we must stress that it is always advisable for you as a consumer to seek proper, professional legal advice and legal services when dealing with complex factual and legal issues as we reiterate once again that the CPA and its contents can sometimes can be confusing and complicated, especially in its correct interpretation; and needs a trained experienced and legal mind to interpret it correctly and as accurately as possible in any given circumstances.

If you have experienced difficulties with enforcing your consumer rights or with compliance with the CPA; contact The Legal Advice Office at or write to one of our email addresses; either This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Should you wish to comment on this or any other legal topic; just send us an e-mail, and we will respond as soon as we can.

Thank you.

The Legal Advice Office Team.

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Legal Advice Office

South Africa

Kandelaar Street, Vermont, Hermanus
Phone: +27 (028) 316 2832

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