Companies Tribunal and Consumer Goods & Services Ombud join forces to tackle consumer and company disputes.
Date: Wednesday 1 March 2023
For immediate release
Attention: Editors/ News desks
Randburg – The Companies Tribunal (CT) and the Consumer Goods & Services Ombud (CGSO) today (1 March 2023) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will strengthen the ability of both organisations to deliver on their mandates by bolstering the alternate dispute resolution (ADR) process.
By attaching their signatures to the MOU, Ms ‘Maletlatsa Monica Ledingwane, CT’s Chief Operations Officer and Ms Queen Munyai, CGSO’s CEO are committing to jointly cultivating sound principles of good governance, raising the standards of good practice in the industry and promoting the fair, impartial and speedy resolution of disputes affecting companies and consumers through ADR.
In terms of the agreement, the two institutions have resolved to cooperate on, among other things, referral by either the CT or CGSO matters for the purpose of alternative dispute resolution and adjudication within the jurisdiction of each party for consideration, information sharing on ADR best practices, sharing of IT information on areas concerning case management systems, research information, policy documents, consumer education and public awareness programmes.
Due to the parties’ complementary mandates, the agreement provides for the optimal use of resources and management of potential duplication of work by way of a cross-referral of complaints, with the CT serving as a preferred body for the resolution of company disputes.
Ms Munyai welcomed the signing of the MoU, describing it as a step in the right direction: “Collaboration between alternative dispute resolution bodies is important especially when it is for elevating and improving the ADR process, which is a proven, cost-effective way to accelerate access to redress for parties locked in a dispute. I am confident that this MoU will benefit consumers, and businesses and strengthen both institutions regarding their abilities to fulfil their respective mandates.” Said Ms Ledingwane: “This MoU will provide a better platform for South Africans who wish to resolve disputes involving both companies and consumers.
Both the CT and CGSO have collaborated with other regulators and ADR entities in the public and private sectors. The MoU will be valid for three years. On expiry, the parties may agree to renew and review the agreement.
About the CGSO
Established in 2013, the CGSO is an independent and accredited alternative dispute resolution scheme as defined in the Consumer Protection Act (CPA). Its accreditation derives from section 82 of the CPA and its dispute resolution mandate from section 70 of the CPA. The services of the CGSO are free to consumers.
In addition to providing for a scheme of alternative dispute resolution as described in section 70 of the CPA, the CGSO’s mandate includes raising the standards of good conduct in the industry; offering guidance to participants around the implementation of and compliance with the CPA; and educating consumers as to their rights and redress available to them should an industry member breach the CPA or the Code.
About the Companies Tribunal
The Companies Tribunal (the Tribunal) is an agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) established in terms of the Companies Act No. 71 of 2008 to provide speedy resolution of company disputes. The Tribunal has jurisdiction throughout the Republic of South Africa. It is independent and subject to the Constitution and the law. It exercises its functions in accordance with the Act and performs its functions fairly, without fear, favour or prejudice and in a transparent manner.
For Companies Tribunal queries and interview requests, contact:
Manager: Communication and Marketing
(012) 394 1800
072 251 7265
For Consumer Goods & Services Ombud related queries and interview requests, contact
Ms Ouma Ramaru
Media Liaison, Training and Outreach Manager
Consumer Goods & Services Ombud
011 781 2607
073 899 9551