Reprieve for blacklisted consumers

5 September 2013

Previously blacklisted consumers have been given some breathing space, with the Cabinet approving a proposal to allow consumers who can afford to take up more debt to access credit once they have settled their debt.

Briefing journalists in Pretoria on Thursday following the Cabinet’s latest fortnightly meeting, spokesperson Phumla Williams said that denying credit to previously blacklisted consumers “hinders growth”.

“What tends to happen currently is that even if you have settled your debt, you still have to wait for a period of five years,” Williams said.

“The proposal that has been made is to ensure that those that have settled their debt are able to continue their lives in terms of doing the business that they may wish to engage in.”

The proposal was made by the Select Committee on Trade and International Relations following a report by the Removal of Adverse Credit Information Project.

The report’s recommendations were first discussed in Parliament last year after it was noted that denying credit to those that were previously blacklisted without considering affordability was detrimental not only to consumers but also to the economy.

Williams said the Department of Trade and Industry still needed to conclude internal processes before the Cabinet’s decision could come into effect.

Meanwhile, Williams said the Cabinet had also approved several other Bills for introduction to Parliament, including the National Credit Amendment Bill, which seeks to give the National Credit Regulator (NCR) more powers to implement and enforce critical credit provisions.

“The Bill aims to strengthen the capacity of the National Credit Regulator to address certain challenges, especially around court processes, and to strengthen enforcement and implementation of the provisions of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005.”

Source: SAnews.gov.za