Residents learn about their rights

Tafelsig residents attend a workshop at the Nelson Mandela Family and Youth Centre on Friday November 24.

A workshop hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) informed Tafelsig residents about the rights and responsibilities afforded to them by certain legislation.

A national education and awareness campaign, held at the Mitchell’s Plain Youth and Family (Thusong) centre on Friday November 24, aimed at unpacking the Liquor, National Gambling, Lotteries Amendment, National Credit, Consumer Protection, Copyright, Performers Protection, and Companies Acts.

Touching on the topic of intellectual property, Gregory Khoza, senior specialist in education and awareness for intellectual property at the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, an agency of the DTI, said it referred to the application of the mind to develop new or original ideas, such as inventions and artistic works, designs and symbols, names and images used in trade.

Intellectual property is protected by patents, copyright, trademarks and design registrations.

“(These) enable people and their businesses to benefit financially, from what they have invented or created,” said Mr Khoza.

Representatives from the DTI and their partners also spoke to residents about the other acts, telling them what to look out for, how to be informed of their rights and gave out contact details for more information.

William Tladi, communications officer for the National Regulator for Compulsory Specification (NRCS), urged consumers to be vigilant in inspecting the authenticity of the goods they buy, including plastic bags. It is their mandate is to promote public health and safety, protect the environment and ensure fair trade. He said a plastic bag filled with groceries was worth more than the unregistered bag, which could break if it did not meet norms and standards.

All authentic local products undergo a series of tests and must be proven to be in perfect condition for use before they can be introduced into the market.

Mr Tladi said customers should check for the NRCS’s stamp of approval. “If it is not there then you must be given it for free,” he said.

He said customers should report if they felt short changed, “for example each toilet paper roll should have 500 sheets but if it is one sheet short and more than one customer has one sheet short, then all the single sheets put together could fill a roll, which could make a huge difference,” he said.

Mr Tladi said bread had to be weighed. “The consumer voice is very low. As long as it is happening to me it is fine but this will affect generations to come because no one is standing up,” he said.

Residents were given booklets and pamphlets to take home.