NW Provincial Consumer Affairs court sworn in new members

MAHIKENG MAIL-MAHIKENG: The North West Department of Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism has sworn in five (5) officials to serve as members of Provincial Consumer Affairs Court for another three years as outlined in the Consumer Protection Act No 68, of 2008 and Unfair Business Practice Act No. 04 of 1996, as amended.

This came as a result of the lapsing of the term of the previous members in 2020. The Court members comprised of the Chairperson, Alternate Chairperson, two (2) members and one alternate members.  The members will be led by Kennedy Jacob Pheletso Kgomongwe as Chairperson.  Kgomongwe is not new as he served in the previous Provincial Consumer Court and has been a practising attorney for a period spanning 22 years. He holds two Bachelor degrees in Law (B Juris and LLB) and has vast experience in legal matters. The Provincial Consumer Affairs Court which was launched in March 2017, is tasked with adjudicating cases that were investigated by the department where mediation failed. The act then allows for such cases to be referred to the Provincial Consumer Affairs Court for adjudication. Based on the evidence placed before it, the court has the powers of declaring business practices to be unfair; conduct to be prohibited, and order refunds for actual financial loss for unfair business practices. Upon the issuing of the verdict, if the supplier do not comply, the court has the power to refer the case to the Magistrate Court for consideration and endorsement.
Since the inception of the Provincial Consumer Affairs Court, approximately 60% of the cases have been finalized with 98% success rate. According to the Consumer Protector, Seile Letsogo, most of the cases lodged with the department were related to purchasing of second hand cars, unpaid funeral service claims and were the consumer has paid, but service not rendered by the supplier as per agreement. The new members will be taken through induction process to familiarize them with relevant consumer legislations before the end of April 2022, to ensure that the rights of the consumers are not infringed. The department would like to thank the previous Consumer Affairs Court members for their commitment and dedication of ensuring that rights of consumers in the North West Province are protected. North West Provincial Government is currently at an advance stage of aligning the Provincial Consumer Protection Legislation to the National Norms and Standard.