Professor Tanya Woker.

UKZN law academic and National Consumer Tribunal member, Professor Tanya Woker, has written two chapters in a new book on the Consumer Protection Act expected to be published by Jutas towards the end of the year.

The chapters titled: ‘Franchising and the Consumer Protection Act’; and ‘Fraudulent Investment Schemes’, focus on franchising and how the Consumer Protection Act have impacted on this area of business and on fraudulent investment ideas such as Ponzi schemes. 

Woker has recently completed an article on investments in property syndications where investors (often old age pensioners) are encouraged to invest in property schemes which later collapse and they lose all their hard earned money.               

‘This is very problematic especially when pensioners are involved because pensioners are retired and therefore have no means of recouping their losses. The Financial Services Ombud has dealt with a number of complaints recently and found that many of these schemes are just Ponzi schemes,’ said Woker. 

In the article, Woker makes suggestions regarding the way in which the law should deal with such investments in the hope that they can be stopped before they even get going because once the money is invested it will usually be lost even if the promoters of such schemes are held accountable. 

Woker is planning to focus on the processes which have been set out in the National Credit Act and the Consumer Protection Act to assist cconsumers who have suffered damages as a result of unlawful conduct on the part of suppliers.  This new legislation is intended to protect consumers with new processes being introduced for claiming damages.

‘The question which needs to be answered is whether this is in fact correct?’ concluded Woker.