Standards & Consumers

Consumers in Swaziland, have representation in the form of the Swaziland Consumer Forum (SWACOF). The aim of the association is to protect consumers from exploitation and sub standard goods and services in order to protect their health and safety.

Generally, the average Swazi citizen is concerned about the quality of the food and services they receive, however, there are still difficulties in differentiating between the quality, brand and price. The general belief is that the higher the price of a commodity the higher the quality, and this does not always stand true because one of the advantages of standardisation is reduced costs of production which may further mean a lower price of that particular product.

In general, consumers buy established and well known brands with the belief that they are of superior quality. Good marketing strategies by these brands’ representatives have helped enhance this belief, such that consumers have ignored the issue of quality where such brands are concerned, exposing themselves to exploitation by some of these representatives or by other agents falsely presenting themselves as representatives.

SWASA has found it necessary to educate the Swazi nation about standardisation and quality assurance and how these concepts aim at enriching the quality of life for local consumers. Media such as radio, television, press releases, and others have been used to sensitise consumers on their rights to healthy and safe goods and services and on the importance of the use of quality products. The Consumer Liaison and Public Interest Office under the Quality Assurance Department is responsible for liaising with the public and their interest groups for effective collection of information relating to consumer protection. It is SWASA's position though that consumers be affiliated with the Consumer Association through which their collection concerns may be effectively addressed.

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