Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Nkosiphendule Kolisile will celebrate the World Consumer Rights Day with the residents of Khutsong, Merafong on the 16th March 2013 under the theme: Consumer Justice now!
The Gauteng Office of Consumer Affairs (GOCA) has earmarked March as the month to raise awareness about consumer rights, especially among poor communities.
“Consumer Perception Surveys have shown that consumer awareness is very low among certain sections of Gauteng residents. Poor communities in the province are often victims of a host of consumer rights abuses such as unfair contract terms, sale of unsatisfactory and poor quality goods and failure of businesses to honour guarantees,” says Kolisile.
“We have decided to celebrate this day in Merafong because we want to raise awareness and educate residents about consumer rights. But most importantly; to interact with farm and mine workers who may at some point – be vulnerable to unfair business practices”, he says.
According to Gauteng Consumer Protector Reeva Welman, the promulgation of the Consumer Protection Act on the 1 April 2011 has led to many consumers taking interest in consumer awareness and education.
The Gauteng Office of Consumer Affairs will celebrate the day with a resoundingsuccess of 2 675 resolved cases out of 3 264 cases lodged to date. These resolved cases translate to consumer savings of R2 545 427, 75.
“This is a clear indication that knowledge gained from the Consumer Protection Act has truly empowered and liberated the consumers” she says.
Welman also cautions consumers to be attentive when signing contracts.
“Many disputes between service providers and consumers can be averted only if consumers can be afforded adequate time to read and understand the contract before signing it.”
Consumer Investigators from the GOCA office will attend to consumer related complaints on site. A variety of consumer protection bodies including the National Credit Regulator (NCR), Financial Services Board (FSB), and Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) and Independent Communications Authority of SouthAfrica (ICASA) will be exhibiting their services on the day.