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Afriforum to challenge municipalities

Pretoria - Lobby group AfriForum is to seek a reversal of a decision to exempt certain categories of municipalities from sections of the Consumer Protection Act.

An application to this effect will be heard in the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Afriforum lawyer Willie Spies. File photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi. Credit: INLSA

“The act, which gives several rights to consumers who do not receive goods or services for which they have paid, would have been a powerful weapon in the hands of taxpayers against non-performing municipalities,” said AfriForum lawyer Willie Spies.

Currently, the act is applicable only to private businesses and high capacity municipalities.

AfriForum said it first made the application in September 2011, but it would be heard only now as it had had to force Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, by means of a court order, to respond to its application.

AfriForum said the validity of two notices published by Davies would be tested in Wednesday's proceedings, which have been set down for 10am.

When AfriForum began its challenge to the exemption in 2011, it said it was a discriminatory and arbitrary application of the law.

It said Section Nine of the Constitution guarantees all South Africans equal protection by the law.

It believed Davies was making the applicable only to the private sector, while municipalities - which it claimed were often the greatest violators of consumer rights - were getting off. - Sapa

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