Timeshare inquiry report due by month end

09 March 2018 - 14:47 By Linda Ensor
National Consumer Commissioner Ebrahim Mohamed.
National Consumer Commissioner Ebrahim Mohamed.
Image: Gallo Images / Alet Pretorius

The report of the inquiry into the timeshare industry‚ conducted by the National Consumer Commission‚ is expected to be finalised by the end of this month‚ commissioner Ebrahim Mohamed said in Parliament on Friday.

The inquiry panel was appointed in May last year and hearings have been held in all provinces where there are timeshare owners. Final interactions were held with industry players last month.

"The inquiry panel is currently conducting research on issues that arose during the inquiry hearings and is reviewing all the input it has received‚" Mohamed said in a briefing on the commission's work to the portfolio committee on trade and industry.

"I expect them to provide me with a draft final report on 15/16 March 2018. Once I have commented on the draft final report and my inputs [have been] factored into it‚ my intention is to sign off on the final inquiry report by March 31‚ 2018."

The commission has been investigating the timeshare industry for many years but the case it presented to the National Consumer Tribunal had to be withdrawn on the basis of a technicality. Mohamed then established the inquiry.

The complaints of timeshare owners include the fact that their contracts are "in perpetuity" and there is no way to extricate themselves from them and that there is insufficient accommodation available at the timeshare resorts for them to be able to take holidays during their selected periods.