Watchdog to probe holiday timeshare industry

Cape Town - The National Consumer Commission is in the process of conducting a public inquiry into the Vacation Ownership Industry to find permanent solutions for alleged consumer challenges.

"The inquiry will take place over a period of six months under the counsel of a three member panel of property and consumer law experts, and will be chaired by a retired judge, all who will be appointed by NCC Commissioner Ebrahim Mohamed in terms of Section 88(3) of the Consumer Protection Act before the end of this year," it said in a statement on Wednesday.

Once appointed the panel will form part of a task team who will visit all provinces to engage with affected consumers as well as role players from the Vacation Ownership industry to hear out parties, conduct research and to look into specific allegations from consumers.

According to the NCC it stands to gain far more from this process as opposed to an investigation which is conducted within the confines of the CPA. It says that an inquiry will unearth all challenges, provide a holistic view of the status of the industry across regulatory boundaries, as well as recommend appropriate action to be taken by government to address the challenges.

To ensure the inquiry’s success the NCC has partnered with several regulatory organisations such as Provincial Consumer Protectors, South African Revenue Services, Estate Agency Affairs Board, National Credit Regulator, Competition Commission, Department of Human Settlements, Companies and Intellectual Property Rights Commission as well as the Community Schemes Ombudsman.

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