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Consumer Protection Act, 2008 (Act No. 68 of 2008)

Chapter 1 : Interpretation, Purpose and Application

Part B : Purpose, policy and application of Act

3. Purpose and policy of Act



1) The purposes of this Act are to promote and advance the social and economic welfare of consumers in South Africa by—
a) establishing a legal framework for the achievement and maintenance of a consumer market that is fair, accessible, efficient, sustainable and responsible for the benefit of consumers generally;
b) reducing and ameliorating any disadvantages experienced in accessing any supply of goods or services by consumers—
i) who are low-income persons or persons comprising low-income communities;
ii) who live in remote, isolated or low-density population areas or communities;
iii) who are minors, seniors or other similarly vulnerable consumers; or
iv) whose ability to read and comprehend any advertisement, agreement, mark, instruction, label, warning, notice or other visual representation is limited by reason of low literacy, vision impairment or limited fluency in the language in which the representation is produced, published or presented;
c) promoting fair business practices;
d) protecting consumers from—
i) unconscionable, unfair, unreasonable, unjust or otherwise improper trade practices; and
ii) deceptive, misleading, unfair or fraudulent conduct;
e) improving consumer awareness and information and encouraging responsible and informed consumer choice and behaviour;
f) promoting consumer confidence, empowerment, and the development of a culture of consumer responsibility, through individual and group education, vigilance, advocacy and activism;
g) providing for a consistent, accessible and efficient system of consensual resolution of disputes arising from consumer transactions; and
h) providing for an accessible, consistent, harmonised, effective and efficient system of redress for consumers.


2) To better ensure the realisation of the purposes of this Act, and the enjoyment of the consumer rights recognised or conferred by this Act, the Commission, in addition to its responsibilities set out elsewhere in this Act, is responsible to—
a) take reasonable and practical measures to promote the purposes of this Act and to protect and advance the interests of all consumers, and in particular those consumers contemplated in subsection (1)(b);
b) monitor and report each year to the Minister on the following matters:
i) The availability of goods and services to persons contemplated in subsection (1)(b), including price and market conditions, conduct and trends affecting their consumer rights;
ii) access to the supply of goods and services by small businesses and persons contemplated in subsection (1)(b); and
iii) any other matter relating to the supply of goods and services; and
c) conduct research and propose policies to the Minister in relation to any matter affecting the supply of goods and services, including proposals for legislative, regulatory or policy initiatives that would improve the realization and full enjoyment of their consumer rights by persons contemplated in subsection (1)(b).