Consumers, you now have more rights than ever! The Consumer Protection Act was promulgated by the President of South Africa on 29 April 2009 and is now in full force and effect as of 1 April 2011. Almost every inhabitant of this country is invariably a consumer and the Consumer Protection Act is here to protect you. Your consumer rights are actually embodied in one of the world’s most liberal pieces of legislation, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996. Consumer rights are inextricably linked to your right to human dignity and equality. Section 9 of the Constitution states that national legislation must be enacted to prevent unfair discrimination. The Consumer Protection Act is therefore a reinforcement of your rights contained in the Constitution and it affords you a more user-friendly approach in seeking redress of consumer violations. If you are doubting whether you are a consumer, note that a consumer means “user, buyer, purchaser, customer, shopper, client.”

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