Consumer Protection Act
The Consumer Protection Act (68 of 2008) was signed into law on the 24 April 2009 under the auspices of the Department of Trade and Industry.
Purpose of the Act
To protect the interests of all consumers, ensure accessible, transparent, and efficient redress for consumers who are subjected to abuse or exploitation in the marketplace. Protection of specific vulnerable groups is emphasized including the elderly, minors and historically disadvantaged persons.
Furthermore, the Act is intended to:
- Promote and protect the economic interests of consumers;
- Improve access to, and the quality of, information that is necessary so that consumers are able to make informed choices according to their individual wishes and needs;
- Protect consumers from hazards to their well-being and safety.
- Prohibit unfair marketing or business practice.
The Act seeks to pass liability down the supply chain as the consumer does not necessarily have to sue the contracting party. If more than one party is potentially liable, the consumer can sue anyone of them (producer, importer, distributor or retailer), for any harm caused by the goods. Their liability is joint and several. This means that if the consumer sues one party and receives payment, that party can then sue the others for a contribution to the payment.
Potentially the most drastic effect for business is in the area of liability for damage caused by goods, referred to as Strict Liability – The consumer no longer has the onus of proving negligence on the part of the supplier.
How is this applicable to Crown National?
The Act is not applicable to transactions where the consumer is a juristic person (e.g. a business or association) with an asset value or annual turnover above a threshold limit of R2million. The majority of Crown National products are used by our customers in the manufacture of their own finished products for further sale. Only a limited scope is purchased directly by individual consumers. Therefore in the majority of cases Crown National may not be in the “frontline” of complaints or claims brought by consumers, but could potentially be jointly liable depending on the outcome of investigations along the supply chain.
By investing in Quality Assurance and Food Safety Management Systems such as HACCP and ISO 22000, we at Crown National play our part in the supply chain to guard against liability claims that may impact Crown National and our customers. Furthermore, Crown National undertakes to handle internal customer complaints efficiently in order to assist our customers in managing their consumer complaints effectively.
Other Important Regulations
Please select the regulation you would like to view from those published under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act (54 of 1972).