World Consumer Rights Day will be celebrated on 15 March 2016.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the Western Cape Office of the Consumer Protector (OCP) has selected issues around credit agreements as a key focus area.
“Costly hire purchase agreements and unscrupulous lenders lead to major problems in South Africa. In the Western Cape, the Office of the Consumer Protector has chosen the theme: Hire Purchase contracts: Be aware of the costs.”
Minister Winde said the OCP was hosting awareness sessions in the Southern Cape and the Karoo, in partnership with the National Credit Regulator.
“Through these sessions, we are educating consumers on their rights and obligations around hire purchase agreements.
“Last year, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture partnered with the private sector to train just over 2 400 residents, who are working on farms, around financial literacy,” said Minister Winde.
Ashley Searle, the head of the OCP in the province, said: “Some of the additional products sold to consumers as part of hire purchase agreements are not properly explained, resulting in consumers buying insurance products that they don’t need.
“Our primary objective remains informing consumers about their right to information, and ensuring fairness during transactions.”
Organisations, schools, colleges, businesses and communities that are interested in information sessions, workshops, exhibitions and interviews on the Consumer Protection Act can contact the Office of the Consumer Protector on 021 483 9282 and speak to Mr Phenias Ncube.
For consumer complaints, contact the OCP on 0800 007 081