Ministry warns businesses shortchanging consumers

By Ndumiso Tshuma

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has warned unscrupulous businesses employing deceptive tactics to exploit consumers.

These tactics include selling underweight products, using misleading labels, and employing illegal measuring instruments.

The ministry highlighted that consumers were protected under the Trade Measures Act (Chapter 14:23) and the Consumer Protection Act (Chapter 14:44).

“The law requires all products offered for sale, with few exceptions, to be in designated quantities and have clear labels that adhere to established regulations,” the Ministry explained.

“Furthermore, using measuring equipment that is not certified, incorrect, illegal, or tampered with is a punishable offence. Businesses are obligated to have their equipment inspected and verified for compliance by the Trade Measures Department.”

The Ministry emphasised its commitment to safeguarding consumer rights.

“We are committed to protecting consumers from unfair trading practices, misleading information, and fraudulent activities,” the ministry declared.

“The Ministry warns individuals and organisations that disregarding these regulations will have legal consequences, including prosecution. We urge all perpetrators to cease these malpractices immediately. Anyone found in violation will be held accountable.”

The ministry also called upon the public “to be vigilant and report any instances of short-changing or deceptive practices to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Trade Measures Department and the Consumer Protection Commission.”

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