Louis Nel


  • This section of the CPA is often seen as the sole issue to be considered – as you can see from the previous four inserts, nothing could be further from the truth!
  • The first aspect to bear in mind is that the consumer is entitled to cancel [Section 17 (2)]
  • The supplier IS entitled to (a) require reasonable deposit in advance’ (b) ‘impose a reasonable charge for cancellation’ [Section 17 (3)]
  • Such a charge will be unreasonable if it exceeds a fair amount in the circumstances’ – what the latter is, is not clear but the following factors need to be considered may well comprise such ‘circumstances’:
  • Nature of the goods or services
  • Length of cancellation notice given by consumer
  • The ‘reasonable potential’ of the supplier finding an alternative consumer
  • ‘The general practice of the relevant industry’
  • The above penalty may not be imposed if ‘the person for whom, or for whose benefit the booking, reservation or order was made’ dies or is hospitalized – note it is only the actual pax who gets this benefit & not other members of the travelling party




  • Do not automatically and categorically refuse any form of refund – make a concerted effort to resell e.g. it may well be argued on behalf of the consumer that a popular destination in peak season can be resold
  • This is particularly the case if ample notice is given even if your cancellation notice periods are applicable – In such a case you may well qualify that any resale efforts are without prejudice and as a show of goodwill only
  • Be aware of what you competitors’ T&C are
  • Make sure that your customer understands that the concession only applies to the passenger who has passed away/been hospitalized and not the entire party
  • Insist on original documents of proof of death/hospitalization e.g. proof from the hospital and not just a doctor’s note


 This newsletter/article is intended to provide a brief overview of legal matters pertaining to captioned matter and is not intended as legal advice. As every situation depends on its own facts and circumstances, only professional advice should be relied on. Please contact Adv. Louis Nel at [email protected],za or on +27 83 679 4556’