Consumer Law South Africa Header

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 covers sections 68 to 78 of the CPA.

So how does the CPA protect a consumers rights?

How do we enforce any of our consumer rights in terms of the CPA?

Today; we will look at Part A which covers the consumer’s rights to be heard and to seek redress and is contained in sections 68 to 71.

We start with section 68.

Section 68 deals with the protection of consumer rights.

It consists of two subsections.

Section 68 (1):

Firstly; it states that if a consumer has exercised or sought to uphold any right set out in the CPA or any agreement with a supplier; that supplier may NOT in response discriminate against the consumer directly or indirectly vis a vis any other consumer who has not so exercised or asserted that right. In other words; if you seek to enforce a right in terms of the CPA or an agreement with a supplier; the supplier may NOT discriminate against you or treat you differently in any way. You have that protection in terms of the CPA.

Secondly, it states that a supplier may not penalise a consumer, or alter or attempt to alter the terms and conditions of a transaction or agreement to the detriment of that consumer. Nor may a supplier take any action against you or accelerate, enforce, suspend or terminate an agreement because you sought to enforce your right in terms of the CPA or in terms of your agreement with that supplier. Therefore if you choose to enforce your right in terms of the CPA or any agreement the supplier again cannot use that against you, penalise you, or change the terms of the contract you had with them; nor can they cancel or even attempt to cancel the contract.

As a consumer, you are protected by section 68(1) and are entitled to enforce your rights in terms of the CPA and the contract.

So for example, if you choose to enforce your right to a repair, replacement of a refund of goods purchased from a supplier; the supplier cannot penalise you in any way. Also in your choice to give early notice of termination on a fixed term contract; once again; the supplier cannot penalise you for doing so. This is a statutory protection.

Section 68 (2):

Firstly; it refers to section 52(4) where a court makes an order in terms of section 52; and it states that if a court declares to be void an agreement, or any provision of an agreement, in terms of the CPA or the court removes that provision from an agreement; then the supplier may not in response to that decision by the court; penalise you directly or indirectly or alter the terms and conditions of the agreement they had with you; except to the extent that it is necessary to correct that unlawful provision; and the supplier may also not take any action to accelerate, suspend or terminate the agreement because you have sought the protection of the court to enforce your consumer rights either in terms of the CPA itself or in terms of your agreement with the supplier.

The bottom line of section 68 is that the supplier CANNOT discriminate or penalise you in any way if you choose to enforce your consumer rights in terms of the CPA or in terms of the agreement that you entered into with the supplier.

It must be emphasised however that despite the strong wording of this subsection of the CPA; the factual and especially the legal interpretation of your own position vis a vis a supplier should always be referred to legal experts for both legal advice and also to provide the necessary expert legal services that you require; especially when you are dealing with a large sum of money.

You would, therefore, be strongly advised to contact us, to advise you on these queries or any intervention process you might want to initiate; and not to simply attempt to do so on your own; as you would not normally have the necessary legal or practical experience, or 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 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 <a href="http://www.legaladviceoffice.co.za">www.legaladviceoffice.co.za</a> or write to one of our email addresses; either <a href="mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.</a> 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 <a href="http://www.legaladviceoffice.co.za/contact/">e-mail</a>, and we will respond as soon as we can.

Thank you.

The Legal Advice Office Team.

Subscribe to our Legal Advice Blog

Follow our weekly Blogs:
To Subscribe to our Legal Advice blog is simple and easy. Just type your email address at the bottom and click GO

News Feed

Legal Advice Office

South Africa

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

Like what you see?

Close

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...

0
Shares