In this dissertation, the impact of section 22 of the Consumer Protection Act, 68 of
2008 on the drafting of contracts in South Africa is investigated.
It was shown that there has been a great shift internationally to the drafting of
consumer documents in plain language. Some jurisdictions even have statutory
guidelines for drafting in plain language. The benefits of drafting in plain language
were also mentioned.
The South African plain language drafting situation is quite unique, with the question
of what the characteristics of an ordinary consumer are, posing to be the most
important question in determining specific plain language guidelines for South African
consumers. It was found that there are potentially more than one type of ordinary
consumer , depending on the type of commercial transaction being entered into.
Although no statutory plain language drafting guidelines have been published in South
Africa, it was suggested that our common law rules of interpretation are a valuable
starting point when looking for guidelines for better drafting.
This dissertation concludes that two sets of guidelines be developed for at least two
levels of commercial transactions. Firstly, the international guidelines of Kimble should
be incorporated into our law for consumer contracts relating to more complex
consumer transactions. Secondly, another set of guidelines relating to the use of
illustrations, examples, headings or other aids to reading and understanding, as
envisioned by the CPA, should be developed for use in everyday consumer contracts
where the typical consumer is illiterate or falls into the so called vulnerable consumer
Mini Dissertation (LLM)--University of Pretoria, 2015.