[Updated] National Credit Amendment Bill Published 24 November 2017 is Ready for Comment

On Friday 24 November, the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry (“the Committee”) published the Draft National Credit Amendment Bill (“the Bill”).

The Bill contains the Committee’s proposed debt intervention with the aim of addressing over-indebtedness and to provide relief to South Africans who have no other effective or efficient options to extract themselves from over-indebtedness.

It is proposed that debt intervention entails the following:

  • An applicant may make one application;
  • The maximum outstanding unsecured debt owing to credit providers, as at 24 November 2017, should be R50,000 or less;
  • It is limited to South African citizens or residents (who are natural persons);
  • The applicant should receive no monthly salary, or a monthly salary of less than R7,500 (on average for the preceding 6 months);
  • The applicant should have no realisable assets (meaning an asset that can be swiftly converted into cash, but excludes certain necessities);
  • To calculate unsecure debt, certain credit agreements are excluded including developmental credit agreements;
  • Consumers who are under debt review or against whom legal action (as provided for in section 130) has been taken for not settling their debt, do not qualify for debt intervention.

The Bill further provides for mandatory credit life insurance on all credit agreements with a 6 month or longer term and a maximum principal debt of R50,000.

A further purpose of the Bill is to implement a simpler but more rigorous enforcement process, by, amongst others, providing for criminal prosecution of persons who contravene the Act, including the marketing provisions.

The Bill is open for public commentary until 15 January 2018, and public hearings have been scheduled for 30 January and 6 – 7 February 2018. Commentary and enquiries can be submitted to:

Mr A Hermans and Mr T Madima via email: ahermans@parliament.gov.za and tmadima@parliament.gov.za or via telephone: Mr A Hermans (021) 403 3776 or 083 709 8482 and Mr T Madima (021) 403 3822 or 083 709 8419

You can obtain a copy of the bill from: https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/41274_gen922.pdf