Consumer centres for rural towns

4 March 2010

South Africa’s National Consumer Forum (NCF) has opened its first Access to Knowledge (A2K) centre – a hub for skills training, research and consumer advice – in the small rural town of KwaMhlanga in Mpumalanga province.

The facility is supported by Nestle South Africa and Metropolitan Holdings, in the interests of consumer empowerment through learning, particularly in economically marginalised areas.

It is hoped that this centre will be the first of many to be established around the country.

“The A2K centre in KwaMhlanga promises to be a valuable pilot scheme for us to roll out in other areas,” NCF chairman Thami Bolani said in a statement last month. “Training and advice builds knowledge and confidence, which in the long run is the consumer’s best protection against abuse by the private or public sector.”

Consumer education vital

Nestle South Africa chairman and MD Sullivan O’Carroll said that as a leading nutrition, health and wellness company, consumer education in South Africa was a priority for Nestle.

“Through this partnership with the NCF, we aim to enhance the quality of life of communities by providing information and training on nutrition, health and wellness,” he said.

Metropolitan Holdings’ Nathi Choco said his organisation had been involved with various initiatives with the NCF over the past two years, and they had no doubt that the new partnership would be invaluable in empowering consumers.

“Only knowledgeable consumers can exercise their rights and responsibilities with determination and confidence,” he said.

SAinfo reporter

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