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


Consumer Protection Act Regulations

38. Standards, procedures and related matters for Commission to follow in assessing applicant for accreditation as consumer protection group


1) For purposes of this regulation, "applicant" means any consumer protection group that wishes to be accredited by the Commission in terms of section 78 of the Act for the purposes contemplated in that section or elsewhere in the Act, and "instrument establishing and governing the applicant" means in the case of a -
a) juristic person, certified copies of the memorandum and articles of association, certificate of incorporation or founding statement, as the case may be;
b) partnership, the partnership agreement; or
c) trust, the applicable trust deed.


2) For purposes of section 78(6) of the Act, the Commission must in its sole discretion consider the aspects relevant to the applicant and the application in assessing whether that applicant for accreditation meets the applicable requirements of section 78 from —
a) the objectives or purpose of the applicant;
b) whether the applicant engages in, or makes a realistic proposal to engage in, actions to promote and advance the consumer interests of persons contemplated in section 3(1)(b) of the Act;
c) the applicant's ability to sustainably provide a service to historically disadvantaged, low-income consumers in rural or peri-urban areas;
d) the efficiency and effectiveness of the applicant in promoting the interests of consumers;
e) whether the applicant's infrastructure and support mechanisms are adequate and appropriate for the function it intends to fulfil;
f) the procedures and processes required by the applicant to determine whether to pursue a matter on behalf of consumers;
g) whether the applicant has a strict policy on conflicts of interest;
h) whether the applicant has or holds any interest of whatever nature, whether directly or indirectly, in any company operating in the industry within which the applicant operates or plans to operate;
i) any other factor which may be relevant.


3) The Commission must on its website publish all relevant information to inform a prospective applicant of the requirements in respect of an application for accreditation in terms of section 78 of the Act, including criteria it will utilise to assess the factors contemplated in subregulation (2).


4) Any applicant must submit an application providing all information contemplated in subregulations (2) and (5), as well as a statement by its chairperson, chief executive or other person in charge of its operations, supported by a resolution taken at a meeting of its members or stakeholders, that the applicant is committed to achieving the purposes of the Act.


5) The Commission must upon receipt of an application publish a notice in the Gazette and any newspaper distributed in the geographical area in respect of which the application has been submitted, and on its own website, stating -
a) the name of the applicant;
b) the applicant's registered address;
c) the industry and the geographical area in respect of which the application has been submitted;
d) the time period within which and the address where objections to the possible accreditation of the applicant may be submitted.


6) The Commission may upon receipt of an application request the provision of any additional information it may deem relevant.


7) The Commission may in its sole discretion invite the applicant and other interested persons to make oral submissions in support of or opposition to the application.


8) The Commission must within a reasonable period of receipt of an application consider the application and any objection to the application submitted timeously, and must then take a decision on the accreditation of the applicant in terms of section 78(3) of the Act.


9) The Commission must forthwith after deciding on the application in writing inform the applicant and any person who lodged an objection of—
a) the outcome of the matter; and
b) their rights in terms of or under the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000 (Act No.3 of 2000).


10) An accreditation is valid for a period of five years, after which such accreditation expires, and a previously accredited consumer protection group must re-apply for accreditation.


11) The Commission may provisionally accredit an applicant, and the applicant must within a time period determined in writing by the Commission meet any additional requirements set by the Commission, which, if the applicant fails to timeously and fully meet such conditions, expires on the date on which such time period ends.


12) The Commission must in the case of a successful application -
a) issue a certificate of accreditation with a unique number, signed by a Commissioner, to the applicant, who must display the certificate in a prominent place at his, her or its main office; and
b) on its website add the name of the applicant in a list of all accredited consumer protection groups.


13) The Commission may at any time after accreditation —
a) request the accredited consumer protection group to provide it with any additional information the Commission may require;
b) in its sole discretion and when it deems it necessary in the interest of consumers to do so, suspend or withdraw such accreditation of the accredited consumer protection group, but the Commission must in such instances inform the applicant of and apply all his, her or its rights provided for in the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000, and amend its data bases and website accordingly.


14) An accredited consumer protection group must annually, within 30 business days of completing each year of accreditation, submit a full report, to the Commission on its activities during the preceding year unless the Commission has agreed otherwise in writing.


15) An accredited consumer protection group may not charge a consumer any fee other than out of pocket expenses.