Thursday, December 22, 2011
Clients of Mc Naught and Company will know that our legal contracts, wills and documents have always been written in plain simple and easy-to-understand language. This was one of my priorities as a newly-qualified attorney... taking contracts, tearing them apart and reducing them to simpler wording.
The good news is that the Government have recognised this need and it is now law that all legal contracts should be written so that the average South African will be able to understand them. The Consumer Protection Act which recently came into effect provides in Section 22, and the National Credit Act provides in Section 64, for documents to be written so that persons with average literacy skills and minimal experience as a consumer could be expected to understand them.
The new Companies Act also has similar provisions and requires plain language to be used in documents.
Consumers who are upset with contracts that are difficult to understand can complain to the relevant Ombudsman appointed for this purpose and it is intended to stop misleading or deceptive business practices. Fines can be imposed along with other appropriate decisions. The consumer may be entitled to cancel the offending contract or have it set aside by the courts. The court may also make any order it deems just, give money or property back to the consumer, compensate the consumer for any loss and cancel or alter the terms of the contract in favour of the consumer.
So there you have it! Consumers are being looked after.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Our Skydrive is linked to our website and we are building a library of useful documents which may be downloaded and used free of charge, or where registration is necessary, with payment of the applicable fees.
The latest in our bundle of documents are Divorce Settlement Agreements, Joint and Sole Parenting Agreements in situations where agreement needs to be reached over custody and maintenance of children of parents divorcing and for the division of property owned by the parties. Click on our link to our Skydrive here for the list of documents available to download and to download them at a click of your mouse. You can also check out more info on marriage and divorce on our website.