New consumer protection law on cards

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Industry and Commerce minister, Professor Welshman Ncube says his ministry is working on a new Consumer Protection Bill.

Speaking at the Consumer World Rights Day symposium recently, Ncube said the government would ensure that business ethics were adhered to.

“The Consumer Protection Bill is still being drafted,” said Ncube

“The Bill will be exhaustively discussed by all key stakeholders before it is sent through relevant channels of government for enactment into law.”

He said the government is keen to set up structures for consumers redress that were separate from the normal judicial system.

The Industry minister said the government had a responsibility to protect and promote consumer rights and should establish a national body aimed at consumer protection

“The national body should have consumer protection as an explicit regulatory objective with full authority to investigate, halt and remedy violations of consumer protection law, including where necessary the right to define specific practices or products as unfair, deceptive or otherwise illegal,”said Ncube.

He said the industry was currently playing the role of overseer of consumer protection with various regulatory bodies in place to regulate specific sectors of the economy such as telecommunications, financial services and energy in the hope that a national regulatory body would be set up.

“Government will ensure that consumers have access to adequate redress mechanisms, which are expeditious, fair, inexpensive and accessible,” said Ncube.

“Government will also provide collective redress mechanism in order to reduce the demand for individual proceedings.”