The aim of the Consumer Protection Act no. 68 of 2008 is to promote fair, accessible and sustainable marketplace for consumer products and services.
Part H (sections 53 to 61) of the Act specifically deals with fair value, good quality and safety.
There will be a real defect according to section 53 if such a defect is a material defect which renders the product less acceptable than persons would be reasonably entitled to expect. Such a defect furthermore must lead to the inability of the product to perform in its intended manner and should be unsafe in such a manner that there is great potential risk that using the product may lead to personal injury.
Section 55, on a high level, confirms the right to good, safe and high quality products and specifically states that the product should be free of any defects (as defined in section 53).
Section 56 provides an implied warranty of quality and provides the consumer the right to return defective goods (as defined in section 53) within 6 months of purchase at the supplier’s risk and expense. The burden of proof of the defect however lies with the consumer. The supplier, according to this section, and at the direction of the consumer:
- Should repair or replace the defective product; alternatively
- Refund the consumer for the price paid for the product.
If the supplier repairs the product, and within three months the defect has not been repaired, the supplier should replace the goods or refund the price paid for the product.
The facts of each individual matter, read together with Part H of the Act, have to be considered by the consumer before engaging with the supplier.
Article written by Jaco Grobler, Stegmanns Inc