On Wednesday, 15th March, the South African government plans to mark World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) to fight against the backdrop of several challenges South African consumers face. World Consumer Rights Day is an avenue to deliver real impact for consumers and reminds the world about the importance of observing and enforcing consumer rights.
South Africa’s Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition pointed out these challenges ranging from poor quality of goods and services offered by suppliers, a deepening energy crisis which consumers overcome by purchasing alternative power sources and getting unsafe and low-standard goods, defective second-hand motor vehicles, and without receiving feedbacks when they lodge complaints. There is also a serious concern about the increased levels of debt among consumers.
In order to address these challenges, the North West Department of Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism Department in cooperation with the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) and National Consumer Commission (NCC) will join forces to mark WCRD while work continues in seeking possible solutions.
To lead this year’s celebrations at the Sun City Resort in North West is the Deputy Minister for Trade, Industry, and Competition Nomalungelo Gina and Premier Bushy Maape from North West.
South African consumers will be availed of the opportunity to interact with industry experts and regulatory bodies under the auspices of the Consumer Protection Forum (CPF). The forum was created by consumer protection regulators and nine Provincial Consumer Protection Authorities as a voluntary body in South Africa.
The celebration is themed ‘Creating a Fair Marketplace’, as a reminder to suppliers of goods and services of their responsibilities when marketing or providing goods and services to ensure that they do so in a more appropriate manner. According to the department, the South African regulators reiterated their commitment to leaving no stone unturned in protecting South African consumers.
Among other challenges, the World Consumer Rights Day celebrations event also seeks to address challenges encountered by various sectors including the tourism, financial, and energy sector.
World Consumer Rights Day aims to make the voice of consumers powerful as the governments and corporations they interact with and to challenge unjust, unsafe, and unethical practices to ensure all consumers are treated safely, justly, and honestly.