Redress for Consumers in terms of the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008: A Comparative Discussion

AuthorCorlia Van Heerden - Jacolien Barnard
PositionUniversity of Pretoria, South Africa
Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology
Vol. 6, Issue 3 (2011)
Redress for Consumers in terms of the Consumer Protection
Act 68 of 2008: A Comparative Discussion
Prof C Van Heerden & J Barnard
University of Pretoria, South Africa
Corresponding Author: J Barnard
Abstract. T he Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008
is a groundbreaking piece of
legislation in the r ealm of not only South African consumer law but also the South African law of
contract. What is more, the Act a lso has worldwide implications as foreign companies selling
goods and services in South African consumer markets will have to comply with the new
legislation. In Part 1 of this paper, the avenues of redress availab le to the consumer in terms of the
Act and the possible practical problems per taining thereto are discussed. Part 2 deals with redress
for consumers in terms of the European Union and relevant aspects of redress in the Spanish legal
system. Part 3 is a comparative conclusion with regards to redre ss issues for consumers generally.
Part 1
A South African Perspective: Civil Courts and the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008
1. Introduction
The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) 6 8 of 2008 is envisaged to co me into effect incrementally in 20 10
. This
comprehensive and progressive act marks the dawn of a new era in consumer protection in South Africa and was
brought into being with praiseworthy intentions mainly to promote fair business practices and the pr otection of
vulnerable consumers such as low-income communities and minors
. Notably, it deals with eight Fundamental
Consumer Rights that are internationally recognised and thus confirms South Africa’s commit ment to
international consumer rights. These eight fundamental rights are:
Right to equality in the consumer market;
Consumer’s right to privacy;
Consumers right to choose (this ri ght also includes a consumer’s cooling-off rig ht, right of
cancellation and right to examine the goods);
Right to disclosure of information;
Right to fair and responsible marketing;
Right to fair and honest dealing;
Right to fair just and reasonable terms and conditions (which include prohibited transactions,
terms and conditions); and
Right to fair value, good quality and safety (includes safety recall and liability for damaged
This paper was originally published in Kierkegaard, S.(2010) Private Law: Rights, Duties and Conflict .IAITL
Hereinafter referred to as the CPA or Act.
Du Preez (2009) The Consumer Protection Bill; A few preliminary re-marks TSAR 48.
Melville (2010) The Consumer Protection Act Made Easy 1, (hereinafter Melville).

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