Consumer rights in a time of economic stress

Consumer rights in a time of economic stress

30 September 2011

Consumer rights in a struggling economy and the implications for consumers of National Health Insurance will be among the themes tackled at the Consumer Fair conference and exhibition in Midrand on 3 November.

Hosted by consumer rights newspaper Consumer Fair – published by the National Consumer Forum – and sponsored by Absa Bank, the conference speakers will include Trevor Manuel, Minister in the Presidency for National Planning, and Olive Shisana, ministerial advisory committee chairwoman on the NHI.

“We have entered a dangerous era for consumers – where the economy is weak but prices of food, transport, electricity and other basics are being driven up,” said NCF chairman Thami Bolani. “We need to be examining these issues and how they are going to affect us all. And we need to be coming up with constructive responses that consumers, government and the private sector can take to address these challenges.”

Also on the agenda will be issues of food security, and how citizens should be exploring social enterprises as a way of responding to social problems, creating jobs and strengthening civil society.

Popular economic commentator Dr Mike Schussler will talk about the economy and the challenges facing the NHI, while food security issues will be addressed by Nestle South Africa chairman and managing director Sullivan O’Caroll. Robert Michel, head of the Africa office of Consumers International, will talk about the global campaign for fair financial services.

Alongside the conference – to be held at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand – will be an exhibition where consumer protection and consumer education agencies from the private and public sectors will be taking their message to the delegates and broader public.

The Consumer Fair / NCF conferences have enjoyed strong attendance in the past, attracting 300-400 delegates from all parts of the country, and representing public and private sector organisations, civil society groups, trade unions, small businesses and individual consumers.

Interested parties can contact Rhulani Sithole or Nomfundo Phungula on telephone number 012 428 7071 or email: ncf@sabs.co.za.

Posted in Media Statements.