Summary of the Consumer Protection Act

The Consumer Protection Act, 2008 (No. 68 of 2008) (A Broad Ranging Act covering the supply of Goods and Services in South Africa) – a Summary.


  • The Act came into effect on 24 April 2010.
  • Regulations issued 1 April 2011.
  • Up to 23 April 2010 – The purchaser had to prove negligence.
  • From 24 April 2010 – The purchaser just has to prove damage incurred.

Business names will in due course have to be registered.


  • Discriminatory and unfair market practices banned.
  • Proliferation of low quality and unsafe products reduced.
  • Lack of awareness of rights of consumers rectified.
  • Limited redress for consumers corrected.

Act applies to every transaction in South Africa concerning the supply of goods and services.

Act does not apply to transactions when:

  • the consumer is the state.
  • Consumer is a juristic person with a turnover or asset value over R2 million, includes Partnerships, Bodies Corporate, Associations and Trusts.
  • A credit agreement transaction falls under The National Credit Act but the sale of goods and services still fall under The Consumer Protection Act.

Provisions on product recall and product liability will apply to all goods even if exempt.

Goods and Services Basic Rules

  • If goods are defective or hazardous, suppliers are liable for damages even if not negligent.
  • Suppliers must attach warnings and instructions to goods and services sold.
  • Limits ability of supplier to contract out.
  • Business names registration will be mandatory.
  • Product labelling rules.
  • Consumers have the right to return goods (within 6 months) – goods can be repaired, replaced or refunded.
  • Consumers have the right to preauthorization of repairs.
  • Parts must be returned to the owner/consumer.
  • Plain language must be used in agreements, advertising, labels etc.
  • Vulnerable consumers not to be exploited.
  • Suppliers are not to express/imply misleading representation concerning a material fact.
  • Suppliers are not to use exaggeration/innuendo/ambiguity as to material facts.


  • Must not be misleading, fraudulent or deceptive.
  • Bait marketing outlawed.
  • Negative options disallowed.
  • Trade coupons regulated.
  • Loyalty programs regulated.
  • Direct Marketing – allowed 5 business days cooling off period – refund must be made within 15 days.


  • Fixed Term Contracts (individuals only) maximum term 24 months unless demonstrable benefits can be shown and agreed by consumer; consumer can cancel on 20 business days notice.
  • Reasonable cancellation fee.
  • Supplier to notify expiry 40 to 50 days notice.
  • Sales Records – must supply a written record to the consumer.
  • Credits and vouchers – expire only after 3 years.
  • Unfair contract terms – cannot require consumer to waive any rights.
  • Claims prescribe after 3 years.
  • Enforcement Body – National Consumer Tribunal.

What do we recommend? – Webber Wentzel

  • Obtain indemnities from suppliers and service providers.
  • Review all agreements with consumers.
  • Training of staff.
  • Notices and warnings.
  • Updating marketing strategy.
  • Consider obtaining additional insurance.
  • Apply for industry exemption if appropriate.
  • Additional systems for quality assurance.

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Who we are

Denis Jefferies - Center for Management Development

Established by Denis Jefferies in 1983, a professional accountant who holds a B.A. in Economics and Law and an M.B.A. (Cape Town), to date the CMD has trained more than 10 000 persons through public and in-house training programs.

Course Features

Our courses are completely realistic. Trainees actually keep a set of books while attending the course.

Step-by-step testing and auditing ensures that trainees are competent before proceeding to the next stage of the course.

All tasks are completed using the VAT system so that trainees are competent in VAT procedures from a practical point of view.

In all courses the language of instruction is English. Every reasonable attempt is made to accommodate people living with disabilities.

Course fees cover all manuals and materials.

2020 Course Dates

For more information on our 2020 course schedule click here.

Course Venues

For more information on where our courses are held click here.

Contact Us

To enquire about or enrol in any of our courses simply contact Mrs Jefferies during working hours.

Bookkeeping to Trial Balance

A foundation course designed for those who want to keep and maintain the daily, weekly and monthly of books of accounts to the Trial Balance level including VAT procedures.

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Advanced Bookkeeping

This Short Learning Program (SLP) follows the Bookkeeping to Trial Balance Course and equips trainees with the skills and knowledge to deal with more complex monthly and year-end procedures.

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Financial Reporting

This SLP integrates with the two previous courses and covers the Financial Statements, Financial Ratios, Business Taxation, Distribution of Profits and Financial Manipulation.

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Payroll Administration

This SLP deals with statutory deductions from the salaries and wages of employees and also statutory returns required by SARS.

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Learn how to enter and process transactions over the 12 periods of the financial year using Pastel Partner software.

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Want to enrol?

To enquire about or enrol in any of our courses simply contact Mrs Jefferies during working hours on 021 689 1962 or email

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