Although consumer protection is not a new concept in South African law, the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (CPA) now provides
for a much more comprehensive and encompassing mechanism to protect consumers. Consumers are protected, not only in the provision
of goods and services, the conclusion of contracts but also in the promotion and marketing thereof. The CPA further provides special
protection to a particular type of consumer which is the vulnerable consumer and includes elderly consumers. Importantly, and for the
first time in the history of South African law, the consumer is provided with eight core fundamental consumer rights. As this contribution
is an attempt to provide an interdisciplinary analysis from a legal perspective, identification of what is considered to be an ‘elderly’
consumer, needs to be assessed by referring to relevant empirical studies from both an international as well as South African perspective.
The focus of this study is on the protection of the elderly as a category of vulnerable consumers in terms of the CPA. The investigation
will attempt to show that the elderly is protected in terms of all eight of the fundamental consumer rights within the CPA. Special
reference will be made to two fundamental rights of the consumer in terms of the CPA. First, the elderly consumer’s right to equality in
the consumer market (Part A of the CPA) which provides additional protection as the CPA also refers to the Constitutional right to
equality. Second, the elderly consumer’s the right to fair and responsible marketing (Part E of the CPA) which in terms of the research is
compared with the EU Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. Certain problems regarding elderly consumers are identified and the
importance of consumer rights as well as the implementation of the correct consumer policy is argued.