n SA Mercantile Law Journal = SA Tydskrif vir Handelsreg - Product liability insurance in the wake of the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008




The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) introduced a new era of legislated and enhanced consumer rights in South Africa. One of its aims is to provide efficient protection for consumers who are subject to abuse or exploitation in the marketplace. Section 61 of the CPA provides this protection through provisions on strict product liability. These hold producers, importers, distributors and retailers liable for supplying goods that are unsafe, defective, hazardous, mechanically unsound, or accompanied by inadequate end-user instructions or warnings, without the consumer's needing to prove negligence. Section 61 increases the group of entities potentially liable in the supply chain of goods or services. As the CPA is fledgling legislation, though, some provisions may have unintended consequences. For example, it is anticipated that those caught in this widened net of liability will require protection against this risk in the form of new or additional product liability insurance. This additional insurance will potentially increase the costs of goods and services.


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