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Patel Unpacks Consumer and Customer Protection Regulations

March 24, 2020

Department of Trade and Industry

The recently released Consumer and Customer Protection and National Disaster Management Regulations and Directions allow government to take firmer measures if they become necessary including setting limits on individual products.

The trade and industry minister, Ebrahim Patel, announced this in a statement on the Covid-19 National Disaster Regulations.

The minister added that government does not regard this as immediately necessary as “we expect that by working together with business and our people, we can contain prices and limit stock-piling”.

The minister acknowledged the cooperation shown by retailers in putting limits on some goods that helped to calm panic buying and ensuring that no unjustified price increases occur.

Discussions with the private sector and organised labour have been undertaken to “get broad support for Government’s actions and to mobilise their resources to complement and strengthen our efforts”.

Government was also working with “retailers and large food producers to ensure that the supply-chain remains strong and that basic goods are available to consumers”.

Last week, the trade and industry department released 2020 COVID-19 Block Exemption for the Healthcare Sector Regulations and Consumer and Customer Protection and National Disaster Management Regulations and Directions.

The former exempted a category of agreements or practices in the healthcare sector from the application of sections 4 and 5 of the Competition Act in response to the declaration of COVID-19 pandemic while the latter apply to the supply of goods and services listed in annexures A and B during the national state of disaster.