The Consumer Protection Act No. 68 of 2008 (‘the CPA’) has been hailed as the end of the voetstoots clause in sale agreements as we know it. While the provisions giving rise to the consumer protection bodies and those authorising the creation of regulations came into effect on the 24th April 2010, the remaining provisions, which apply to most businesses only came into effect on the 1st April 2011, this date being called the ‘effective date’ of the CPA. As such, the CPA is now the cornerstone of consumer rights in South Africa.
Section 55 of the Act sets out the Consumer’s rights to safe, good quality goods and states as follows:
‘Except to the extent contemplated in subsection (6), every consumer has a right to receive goods that-
(a) are reasonably suitable for the purposes for which they are generally intended;
(b) are of good quality, in good working order and free of any defects;
(c) will be useable and durable for a reasonable period of time, having regard to the use to which they would normally be put and all the surrounding circumstances of their supply; and
(d) comply with any applicable standards set under the Standards Act, 1993 (Act No. 29 of 1993), or any other public regulation.‘
[Source] South African Legal Advice