The Consumer Protection Act and Typical Property Transactions
Legislation relating to consumer protection in South Africa has for many years been behind that of other jurisdictions. There had been no real review of such laws for a lengthy period of time. As a result of the same it was decided to review all legislation relating to consumers. This involved reviewing approximately 70 different Acts and considering different methods to ensure that the consumer was protected. This resulted in the Consumer Protection Act (the "CPA") being signed into law on the 24th of April 2009. Effectively the Act is divided into two portions.
The initial portion did not affect estate agents and effectively dealt with the establishment of the National Consumer Protection Institution. The balance of the provisions are meant to come into operation 18 months after the act was signed i.e. on the 24th of October 2010 (however this date might be extended at the last minute). These provisions include a "Consumer Bill of Rights" and as a result the CPA will, when the second portion comes into operation, provide consumers in South Africa, with one of the best protections in the world.