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Implementation of Key Business Laws Delayed

September 30, 2010

Department of Trade and Industry

The trade and industry department has announced that the general implementation date of both the Consumer Protection Act and the Companies Act is to be deferred.

Last week, the department published a notice in the Government Gazette deferring the date on which the Consumer Protection Act is to come into effect.

According to the act, the date of implementation can be delayed for not more than six months so that additional administrative systems can be put in place.

It was originally set down for 24 October 2010.

In a statement, the department has declared that the general implementation date for both pieces of legislation will now be 1 April 2011.

The department has confirmed that the delay is to allow it to finalise all necessary processes to ensure that effective administration of the two acts can occur.

“The DTI believes that this postponement will also give business and the public sufficient time to prepare themselves for compliance with the new laws”.

The department is finalising regulations for both pieces of legislation. More consultation with stakeholders is envisaged.

The department also referred to the adjustments that businesses need to make as a result of the two acts.

“This is also in recognition of the fact that these two pieces of legislation have significant impact on business operations and thus further justify a need for the postponement to allow affected stakeholders to adjust business practices and behaviour”.

According to the department, the companies and intellectual property commission and the national consumer commission will, however, still come into existence in the third quarter of this financial year.

It added that certain provisions of the Consumer Protection Act which came into effect on 24 April 2010 would now be implemented by the national consumer commission. The relevant provisions include those contained in chapters one and five as well as section 120.

In the interim, the office of consumer protection would deal with any applications or queries.