champion joins NCF
23 February 2010
Veteran consumer champion Ina Wilken has joined forces with the
National Consumer Forum, bringing over 15 years of experience and to the consumer movement.
NCF chairman Thami Bolani said Wilken had showed her commitment
by speaking out on a number of issues and representing consumers on industry bodies and other
"The consumer movement in South Africa needs a lot of
building up," said Bolani, "and we welcome people who are passionate about improving the
lot of the average consumer."
Wilken was honoured as Individual Consumer Champion of the Year
by the Department of Trade and Industry in 2005, and was runner-up in 2006. She was director of
the former SA Consumer Council in 1995, and was closely involved with the SA National Consumer
Union from 1996 to 2009.
She has been the consumer voice on various bodies, including the
Department of Justice's Debt Collectors Council, the SA Banking Adjudicator Commission, the SA
Bureau of Standards' Consumer Sector Board, and the Financial Services Board's Consumer Advisory
Bolani said that Wilken would continue to be a spokesperson on
consumer rights, and would take a leadership role in the NCF's recently launched Access to
Knowledge (A2K) programme.
The consumer group last week opened its pilot A2K centre in the
economically depressed area of KwaMhlanga, east of Pretoria, with support from food company
Nestlé and financial services provider Metropolitan.
After officially opening the centre, deputy minister of trade
and industry Bongi Ntuli urged the NCF to roll out these centres across the country, to empower
consumers with knowledge.
Note about the NCF
The National Consumer Forum is a self-sustaining,
non-governmental organisation that educates consumers about their rights, lobbies on consumer
issues and speaks out where it can on a range of challenges that consumers - especially lower
income earners - experience in their daily lives.
We publish a national, free-distribution consumer rights
newspaper - Consumer Fair - six times a year. We also host an annual World Consumer Rights Day
conference, and work closely with a range of consumer agencies such as the industry regulators and
the provincial offices of the Consumer Protector.
The NCF is an affiliate member of the global federation of
consumer organisations - the London-based Consumers International - a grouping of over 250
consumer organisations in more than 120 countries. We support the United Nations Guidelines for
Consumer Protection, in particular the right to basic needs: All consumers have the right to basic
goods and services such as adequate food, drinking water, shelter, clothing, health care,
electricity and education. These rights lay a foundation for a life of human dignity and therefore
give meaning to citizens' rights to vote for the political party of their choice periodically.
National Consumer Forum
012 428 7071