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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

4. Realisation of consumer rights



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


2) In any matter brought before the Tribunal or a court in terms of this Act—
a) the court must develop the common law as necessary to improve the realisation and enjoyment of consumer rights generally, and in particular by persons contemplated in section 3(1)(b); and
b) the Tribunal or court, as the case may be, must—
i) promote the spirit and purpose of this Act; and
ii) make appropriate orders to give practical effect to the consumer's right of access to redress, including, but not limited to—
aa) any order provided for in this Act; and
bb) any innovative order that better advances, protects, promotes and assures the realisation by consumers of their rights in terms of this Act.


3) If any provision of this Act, read in its context, can reasonably be construed to have more than one meaning, the Tribunal or court must prefer the meaning that best promotes the spirit and purposes of this Act, and will best improve the realisation and enjoyment of consumer rights generally, and in particular by persons contemplated in section 3(1)(b).


4) To the extent consistent with advancing the purposes and policies of this Act, the Tribunal or court must interpret any standard form, contract or other document prepared or published by or on behalf of a supplier, or required by this Act to be produced by a supplier, to the benefit of the consumer—
a) so that any ambiguity that allows for more than one reasonable interpretation of a part of such a document is resolved to the benefit of the consumer; and
b) so that any restriction, limitation, exclusion or deprivation of a consumers legal rights set out in such a document or notice is limited to the extent that a reasonable person would ordinarily contemplate or expect, having regard to—
i) the content of the document;
ii) the manner and form in which the document was prepared and presented; and
iii) the circumstances of the transaction or agreement.


5) In any dealings with a consumer in the ordinary course of business, a person must not—
a) engage in any conduct contrary to, or calculated to frustrate or defeat the purposes and policy of, this Act;
b) engage in any conduct that is unconscionable, misleading or deceptive, or that is reasonably likely to mislead or deceive; or
c) make any representation about a supplier or any goods or services, or a related matter, unless the person has reasonable grounds for believing that the representation is true.