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It is therefore important for the Government to:
- Promote fair, reasonable and sustainable economic and social development.
- Give priority areas of interest essential to consumers' health, such as food, water and pharmaceuticals.
- Adopt food safety measures, effective monitoring, inspection and evaluation mechanisms.
- Improve the quality and appropriate use of pharmaceuticals through integrated national drug policies.
This means that the Government, business and civil society must ensure:
- Safety and quality standards for goods and services.
- Facilities for testing and certification for safety, quality and performance of essential consumer goods and services.
- Those policies are put in place for manufacturers to recall, replace, modify, substitute or compensate for defective or dangerous products.
There is thus a need for Government and business to:
- Provide information to consumers on proper use and risks associated with consumer products.
- Ensure the free flow of accurate information relating to consumer products.
- Develop consumer information programmes.
Government and business need to ensure that:
- There is control of abusive and restrictive business practices.
- Goods meet reasonable demands for durability, utility, reliability and are fit for their purpose.
- Reliable after-sales service and spare parts are available.
It is therefore essential for Government to:
- Facilitate the development of independent consumer groups.
- Ensure that opportunities are provided for consumer groups to present views in decision-making processes.
This means that Government, business and civil society need to:<
- Set up fair, inexpensive and accessible avenues for redress.
- Resolve disputes in a fair, efficient and informal manner.
- Set up voluntary mechanisms such as advisory services and informal complaints procedures for consumers.
There is thus urgency for:
- The introduction of consumer education in schools.
- Education programmes to be initiated particularly for the low-income consumers.
- Government to organise programmes for educators, mass media professionals and consumer advisers.
- Business to undertake or participate in factual consumer education programmes.
This means that Government and business must:
- Adopt measures relating to use, production and storage of chemicals.
- Include health environmental information in the labelling of chemicals.