The Consumer Protection Act , 2008, (No 68 of 2008) was signed into law on 24 April 2009. The Act sets out the minimum requirements to ensure adequate consumer protection in South Africa. This Act constitutes an overarching framework for consumer protection, and all other laws which provides for consumer protection (usually within a particular sector) will need to be read with this Act to ensure a common standard of protection.
All suppliers of goods and services will need to take note of the new measures and ensure that they are able to comply once the Act becomes effective.
Chapters 1 and 5 of this Act, section 120 and any other provision authorising the Minister to make regulations became effective one year after the signing of the Act by the President, which was 24 April 2010.
The Consumer Protection Act, 2008 came into effect on 31 March 2011.
The Minister of Trade and Industry has given notice on 14 March 2011 in the Government Gazette that the Consumer Protection Act application to municipalities, other than high capacity municipalities, will be deferred until further notice. This will have the implication that consumers cannot apply the protection of the Act to transactions with these municipalities.