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SAPRA members are advised that the Supreme Court of Appeal delivered judgment (case number 479/2018) in the matter between a fuel retailer and the Motor Industry Ombudsman of South Africa (MIOSA) in the matter concerning the obligation for fuel retailers to register with, and pay levies to MIOSA under the South African Automotive Industry Code, published in terms of the Consumer Protection Act. We attach the judgment hereto for ease of reference, which you can download here.
In short, the Honourable Court ruled that, on condition that fuel retailers are not involved in activities concerning specified vehicles, component parts and accessories of such vehicles, nor render any repair or replacement services connected with such vehicles, they are not legally obliged to register with MIOSA (“excluded fuel retailers”).
Whilst this may be good news to the fuel retail sector of the industry, SAPRA members should be mindful of another aspect associated with the court’s ruling. The court stated that “Consumers of fuel and lubricants are protected under the Consumer Goods and Service Industry Code of Conduct …” (Government Notice R271, Government Gazette no. 38637 of 30 March 2015). This means SAPRA members may have to comply with this Code, instead of the South African Automotive Industry Code.
The SAPRA Team is in the process of obtaining further particulars and advice concerning registration by fuel retailers with the Consumer Goods and Services Ombud, which will be relayed to members in due course.
In the interim, SAPRA members who qualify as excluded fuel retailers, that registered with, and paid levies to MIOSA, should take the following actions:
1. Deregister their businesses with MIOSA and cease payment of these levies; and
2. Submit a claim to MIOSA for a refund of levies paid, which claim should contain proof of registration and detail concerning past payment of levies.
The RMI and SAPRA have secured an undertaking from MIOSA that it will consider every request for deregistration and refund by fuel retailers, on merit; however, should any SAPRA member experience difficulty with this process, that member may contact the SAPRA for assistance and guidance. MIOSA’s contact details are available at http://www.miosa.co.za/contact.php.