The CPA has been in force for more than five years. How is it that consumers are fighting this battle five years down the line? Because, by and large, big corporates in South Africa are not customer-centric and regulatory arbitrage is the order of the day. Regulation in some sectors is patchy, if not weak. And it doesn’t help that most consumers don’t know their rights and, even when they do, they are generally apathetic about enforcing them.

Charging consumers to opt out of direct SMS marketing highlights this.

In December 2011, Vodacom sent a letter to wireless application service providers – or WASPs, which are companies that use the mobile networks to deliver services, such as bulk SMSes, to the public on behalf of their clients, such as banks and insurers.

The letter from Vodacom stated that, “Section 11(5) of the Consumer Protection Act, which came into effect on

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