According to the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), consumers have the right to suitable, quality products. When selling second-hand goods, suppliers often merely cites “voetstoots” and the consumer is expected to accept the goods as it is presented to them. However, the CPA protects consumers’ rights by placing specific obligations on the supplier to provide good working goods, usable for the purpose it was originally intended. A quick look at the CPA explains these rights and obligations.
Section 55(2) of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) states the following:
(2) Except to the extent provided for in Subsection (6), every consumer has the right to receive goods that:
(a) are reasonably suitable for the purpose for which they are generally intended;
(b) are of good quality, in good working order and free of any defects;
(c) will be usable and durable for a reasonable period of time, having regard to the use to which they would normally be put and to 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.
A consumer can, according to Section 55(2), rely on receiving good working goods which are usable for the purpose for which it was originally intended. The exception to this is where Section 55(6) applies, which states:
(6) Subsection (2)(a) and (b) do not apply to a transaction if the consumer –
(a) has been expressly informed that particular goods were offered in a specific condition; and
(b) has expressly agreed to accept the goods in that condition, or knowingly acted in a manner consistent with accepting the goods in that condition.
It is important to note that Section 55(6) only excludes Subsections 2(a) and (b), meaning that the goods must still be useable and durable for the purpose which they were intended, and comply with the Standards Act or any other applicable legislation. If the requirements in Subsection 55(6) are met, the requirements that the goods are ‘reasonably’ suitable for the purposes for which they are generally intended and ‘are of good quality, in good working order and free of any defects’ will not be implied into the contract in the event that the consumer has been expressly informed that the goods are offered in a particular condition, and the consumer has accepted the goods in that condition.