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Business Practices Committee Report 70

Fitness Industry

4. Recommendation



In view of the above the Committee recommends that the Minister, in terms of section 12(6)(a) of the Act, prohibit suppliers from offering, selling or renewing membership agreements for periods exceeding:

a) one year, should the supplier have an existing lease agreement on the premises, that exceeds one year at the time of the signing of the membership agreement and
b) the term of the unexpired existing lease agreement on the premises should that term be less than one year at the time of the signing of the membership agreement.


It is further recommended that the Minister impose a five-day cooling-off period in the industry. Each membership agreement entered into by a fitness centre and a member must contain the following provision (without alteration):


"You are entitled to terminate your membership within five days of the date on which you signed this agreement, excluding the day of signature as well as Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. This intended termination must be conveyed in writing and must be received by any employee of the fitness centre, within the five-day period, at the physical address where the agreement was signed. "In writing" includes the use of facsimiles, telexes, telegrams or phonograms by the member. Upon termination of the agreement as set out above, the fitness centre shall, within five days as defined above, refund all payments made by the member or reverse any credit transaction".


It is further recommended that the Minister publish this report and recommendations of the Committee in the Government Gazette for comment by interested parties. The date of implementation of the proposed regulations in terms of the Act will be determined by the Minister after the Committee consulted with interested parties.



Prof T A Woker

Vice-Chairperson: Consumer Affairs Committee

Date: 17 March 2000