The Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 has extended consumer protection
to South African Consumers in various areas, notably also by introducing a
strict product liability regime . Quite a number of authors have already
investigated the parameters of the product liability regime introduced by
section 61 of the Act with emphasis on the absence of a requirement of
negligence and how this aspect has opened up access to redress for
consumers harmed by defective products. Although this dissertation provides
an overview of the new product liability regime introduced by the Consumer
Protection Act it has a very specific focus, namely to analyse the defences
available to the supply chain against product liability claims. The reason for
doing so is twofold: in the first instance it is necessary to appreciate that the
product liability regime introduced by the Act, although strict, is not absolute.
Hence the provision made in section 61 for a number of defences that may be
raised by the supply chain. Second, it is submitted that unless a balanced
approach to the issue of product liability is taken, consumers will suffer
because a product liability regime that does not provide for any defences to
product liability claims may stifle development and innovation to the
detriment of consumers. The dissertation thus investigates the closed list of
defences introduced by section 61(4) of the Act and compares them with the
statutory defences available under the EU Product Liability Directive in order
to draw conclusions regarding their content and adequacy within the realm
of modern product liability law.
Mini Dissertation (LLM)--University of Pretoria, 2016.