oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - The history of consumer credit legislation in South Africa



The terms "consumer", "consumer protection" and "consumer legislation" are relatively new in the legal landscape. Many universities around the world offer courses in consumer protection in one form or another and state departments or non-governmental organisations spend a huge amount of energy and money on what is colloquially and formally called consumer protection. Consumer law is a wide concept which may include a variety of topics dealing with medicine, clean water, food, air pollution, competition, advertising, weight and measures - to name but a few. In fact, the consumer being what he or she is, a huge percentage of annual legislation will probably qualify as consumer legislation. This article is concerned with the history of a species of consumer protection, and particularly legislation in this regard, namely consumer credit law. The history of consumer credit legislation in South Africa is not divorced from developments elsewhere, as one would expect. The developments in other legal systems will, consequently, briefly be discussed.


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