19 August 2019
President Ramaphosa has signed the National Credit Amendment Bill into law.
Parliament passed the bill and sent it to president Ramaphosa for assent in March 2019.
The committee bill was tabled in parliament on 6 September 2018.
The national assembly passed the bill on 12 September 2018 and sent it to the national council of provinces for concurrence.
The bill was drafted by the portfolio committee on trade and industry.
The proposed legislation is designed to provide debt interventions for low income, over-indebted consumers.
The select committee on trade and international relations passed the bill without amendments.
The National Credit Amendment Act aims to amend the National Credit Act of 2005 so as to:
• provide for debt intervention;
• insert new definitions;
• include the evaluation and referral of debt intervention applications as a function of the National Credit Regulator and to provide for the creation of capacity within the National Credit Regulator and logistical arrangements to execute this function;
• include the consideration of a referral as a function of the Tribunal;
• provide for the recordal of information related to debt intervention;
• require a debt counsellor to investigate whether an agreement is reckless;
• provide for a court to enquire into and either refer a matter for debt intervention or make an order related to debt intervention;
• provide for a Magistrate’s Court and the Tribunal to determine the maximum interest, fees or other charges when re-arranging debt and for guidance to be prescribed in this regard;
• provide for an application for debt intervention and the evaluation thereof;
• provide for the Tribunal to re-arrange a consumer’s obligations and make an order in respect of an unlawful credit agreement;
• provide for orders related to debt intervention and rehabilitation in respect of such an order;
• provide for mandatory credit life insurance to be prescribed;
• provide for offences related to debt intervention, prohibited credit practices, selling or collecting prescribed debt and related to failure to register as required by the Act;
• provide for measures when an offence is committed by a person other than a natural person;
• provide for penalties in relation to the newly created offences;
• provide for the Tribunal to change or rescind an order under certain circumstances;
• require the Minister to make regulations related to a financial literacy programme;
• provide in a transitional provision for the application of this Amendment Act to credit agreements entered into before its commencement; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.
The act, published in Government Gazette 42649, will come into effect on a date still to be determined by the president.