I met a consumer hero last week. His name is Simon Mathale, a 29-year-old entrepreneur who lives in Mamelodi.
The youngest of 10 children, he has a mechanical engineering qualification, but these days makes a living by handling red tape – registrations, tax and UIF – for small business owners who would have to shut up shop do the schlep work themselves.
I regularly get e-mails about “over-packaging” from readers who say it gives consumers the impression they’re getting more than they really are, it adds unnecessary cost and it’s not environmentally friendly.
Those giant cereal boxes with relatively small bags of cereal inside them are often cited as examples of annoying over-packaging.
For years I’ve advised consumers to contact their motor vehicle insurers annually to request that their insurance premiums be lowered to account for the fact that their “wheels” are a year older, and have a lower value.
So I was thrilled to spot, in the middle of a press release jointly released by the Treasury, the Financial Services Board and the SA Insurance Association (Saia) last week, the news that Saia is to amend its code of conduct, “formalising the insurance practice of regularly and automatically reassessing the value of motor cars, without any prompting from the customer”.