Legal Issues Which Affect Pricing (Including Reference To The Competition Act and Consumer Protection Act)

Worldwide, anti-trust laws have been created

– To prohibit conspiring between firms to fix prices

– To prohibit corporate mergers that can result in a marked reduction in competition in a particular market

– To prohibit hostile acts with the goal of achieving or maintaining monopoly power in a market

The Competition Act affects all businesses operating in South Africa, and the consequences of contravention necessitate an understanding of its basic principles and access to sound legal advice. South Africa’s Competition Act prohibits anti-competitive behaviour such as price-fixing, collusion between competitors and the abuse of dominance. Prior approval by competition authorities must be obtained for certain mergers and acquisitions. South African competition law differs from foreign laws in that the focus is also on certain public interest and social welfare goals – such as the promotion of small businesses, the interests of employees and black economic empowerment.

Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (CPA) – The purpose of the Act is to :

  • promote a fair, accessible and sustainable marketplace for consumer products and services and for that purpose to establish national norms and standards relating to consumer protection;
  • provide for improved standards of consumer information;
  • prohibit certain unfair marketing and business practices;
  • promote responsible consumer behavior;
  • promote a consistent legislative and enforcement framework relating to consumer transactions and agreements
  • establish the National Consumer Commission
  • repeal sections 2 to 13 and sections 16 to 17 of the Merchandise Marks Act, 1941 (Act No. 17 of 1941), the Business Names Act, 1960 (Act No. 27 of 1960), the Price Control Act, 1964 (Act No. 25 of 1964), the Sales and Service Matters Act, 1964 (Act No. 25 of 1964), the Trade Practices Act, 1976 (Act No. 76 of 1976), the Consumer Affairs (Unfair Business Practices) Act, 1988 (Act No. 71 of 1988);
  • and make consequential amendments to various other Acts; and to provide for related incidental matters. Source : www.gov.za

The CPA was amended by the National Credit Amendment Act 19 of 2014 (Section 71). Its purpose is to :

  • amend the National Credit Act, 2005, so as to amend certain definitions;
  • provide for the alteration of the governance structure of the National Credit Regulator;
  • empower the Chief Executive Officer to delegate certain functions to other officials of the National Credit Regulator; to provide for the registration of payment distribution agents;
  • tighten measures relating to debt counselors and the conduct of their practices as debt counselors;
  • allow registrants to voluntarily cancel their registration;
  • empower the Minister to issue a notice for the removal of adverse consumer credit information;
  • provide for automatic removal of adverse consumer credit information;
  • empower the National Consumer Tribunal to declare a credit agreement reckless;
  • provide for the registration and accreditation of alternative dispute resolution agents; and
  • provide for matters connected therewith. – Source : gov.za

SA Consumer Complaints

It is important for you and your customers to know what rights you have as a customer. Further information about South African rights, may be obtained here.