The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has taken its campaign against illegal loan sharks (abomashonisa) to President Jacob Zuma’s backyard in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.
The dti’s Director of Consumer Law and Policy Andisa Potwana urged the community to be vigilant and report credit providers who ‘take advantage of their credit loan facilities and prejudice’ them.
He was addressing Nkandla residents on Tuesday.
“Everyone who feels prejudiced by loan sharks and abomashonisa must report their conduct to the National Credit Regular and the police, should they feel that they are being taken advantage of and forced to give out their SASSA cards, identity documents and bank cards,” he said.
Potwana said every credit provider should be registered with the National Credit Regular so that they can act within the law and avoid instances where consumers are charged high interest rates.
He said one of the main objectives of the National Credit Act is to curb reckless landing and to assist over-indebted consumers.
“Those who are over-indebted are encouraged to approach a registered debt counsellor who will assess their financial means and obligations. Thereafter, the debt-counsellor will assist the consumer through a process of debt review.
“The process involves recommending to the court how much a consumer should pay a month. If that recommendation is acceptable then the consumer pays that reduced amount to all credit providers,” he said.
Potwana said the national education and awareness campaign on the Liquor, National Gambling, Lotteries Amendment, National Credit, Consumer Protection, Copyright, Performers Protection, and Companies Acts would be rolled out across the country until February 2018.