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Public comment called for on Consumer Protection Bill

June 1, 2009

Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry

The portfolio committee on trade and industry has called for public comment on the Consumer Protection Bill by 29 August. The bill has so far been before the select committee on economic affairs, NCOP, who approved the bill on 6 August, subject to certain amendments.

Hearings are scheduled for 2–4 September.

The bill took the unusual route of being debated first in the NCOP and, as a section 76 bill and tagged as such in view of its local government implications, approval had to be received in the form of mandates from all nine provinces.

However, the National Assembly’s portfolio committee has already been briefed earlier this year by the department of trade and industry (DTI) on the objectives of the bill, which are stated as being to promote a fair, efficient and transparent market place for consumers and business.

The bill will apply to all suppliers of goods or services, whether they are profit or non-profit organisations, and will affect all consumers across all sectors of the economy, except the state. Its provisions will apply to all exchanges, subject to a threshold for minor transactions.