The National Credit Regulator (NCR) conducted raids in the Western Cape over the past week to “root out credit providers who are contravening the National Credit Act (NCA)".
The raids took place in Wellington, Paarl, Stellenbosch, Strand, Woodstock, Robertson, Bellville, Goodwood and Wynberg, and resulted in five arrests.
A total of 21 credit providers were investigated for unlawfully garnishing, retaining pension cards, bank cards, identity documents and the personal identity numbers (PIN) of their clients as surety, according to Jacqueline Boucher, acting manager of investigations and enforcement at the NCR.
The investigation led to the arrest of five individuals for contravention of the NCA, as well as the arrest of an additional person by the South African Police Service (SAPS).
According to the NCR, the suspects who were arrested were in possession of 71 pension cards, seven ID books, and five bank cards.
Looking after the consumers
“This is part of the NCR’s ongoing strategy to ensure that all credit providers, no matter where they conduct business, comply with the provisions of the NCA. The exploitation of vulnerable and unsuspecting consumers by credit providers will not be tolerated and this is definitely not the last investigation of this kind,” added Boucher.
Another step that is being taken to protect consumers is amendments to the NCA, which will result in better affordability assessments being carried out, which should assist in reducing indebtedness as credit will be harder to attain, as well as provisions to ensure that consumers only get products that they can benefit from, and not products (such as a pensioner being sold unemployment cover), which they cannot benefit from. To read more, click here