The Executive Committee (ExCo) is responsible for carrying out the management functions of SANCU. The part-time executive officer reports to ExCo

Members of ExCo are drawn from the General Council and are voted in annually. They comprise the Chairman, two Vice-Chairmen, Honorary Treasurer, Honorary Secretary plus four additional members. The Executive Committee may co-opt additional persons to provide additional capacity and expertise. Co-opted persons do not enjoy a vote in ExCo

The names of the current ExCo members can be found here


General Meetings

General Meetings are held three times a year. During such meetings invited speakers make presentations on topics of interest to consumers and after that various official bodies give short reports on current developments in the consumer space. All members and Affiliates are welcome to attend General Meetings which are now held on a virtual platform, by popular request.

Annual General Meetings (AGMs)

Annual General Meetings (AGMs) are held in September of each year. During such meetings the Chair presents the Annual Report and financial statements, after which ExCo’s proposed Nominated Members to the General Council are presented for ratification and then the election/re-election of office-bearers for the coming 12 months takes place. All members and Affiliates are welcome to attend AGMs, but only members of the General Council are entitled to vote.

Meeting Presentations

General Meeting 24 May 2023 – Presentation on bees by Mr Kai Hichert

Annual Generel meeting 27 September 2023 – Presentation on Red Meat Prices by Mr Gerhard Schutte


The following annual reports are available for downloading (click on the title to download):

Annual report 2022/23

Financial Report 2023/23

Annual report 2021/22

Annual report 2019/21


SANCU was originally established in 1961 when women from the major voluntary organisations in South Africa came together with the common purpose of promoting the interests of consumers. It was originally named South African National Consumer Council (SANCC).

As nearly always with independent consumer bodies SANCC found itself hampered by a lack of funding, and in 1970 a symposium organised by the SABS recommended the establishment of a government-financed body to promote consumer interests more adequately. This resulted in the establishment in 1971 of the South African Coordinating Consumer Council (SACCC) supported financially by government. Although the SANCC was of the opinion that the SACCC should replace it, government insisted that the credibility of the new SACCC was critically dependent on the grass-roots support and co-operation of a strong voluntary organisation. The SANCC was therefore tasked with the responsibility and privilege of providing a list of names from whom the Minister of Economic Affairs appointed a Council to oversee the activities of the SACCC. The SANCC was eventually recognised as the nominating body for consumer representatives on all boards or committees where consumer representation was required.

Later in 1971, at the request of the SACCC, the SANCC changed its name to the South African National Consumer Union (SANCU).

Sometime after 1994 the SACCC ceased to exist, and its functions were incorporated into the Department of Trade and Industry. A new nationally representative body, the National Consumer Forum (NCF) was established which aimed to make consumer organizations in South Africa more relevant, more efficient and more influential. SANCU was represented on its management committee but after a few years its activities fizzled out, its name reappearing from time to time in different guises. Eventually SANCU remained the only national representative body with grass roots consumerism as its sole function.

In 2008 the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) was issued. SANCU had actively supported its development, however it was not until 2011 that the CPA finally became effective. It took a further four years, until 2015, for the Automotive Industry Code and the Consumer Goods and Services Code to become effective under the CPA. These two codes became the cornerstones of consumer protection for goods and services outside of the financial sector (which was already covered under other legislation).  At this juncture consumer complaints in nearly all sectors were adequately covered by a variety of ombud schemes, as well as under provincial consumer protection offices operating in terms of the CPA. From then on SANCU’s complaint resolution service gradually reduced to a complaint referral process, except where the complaint involves one of SANCU’s Affiliates in which case the matter is referred first to the Affiliate for resolution and only then to an ombud if still relevant. SANCU has since focused mainly on its consumer advocacy role.