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Better protection

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) and the Department of Trade

and Industry have been hard at work amending the National Credit Act (NCA) to better protect consumers.

PSM looks at how these amendments will affect you. Earlier this year, the Minister of Trade and Industry,

Rob Davies, determined a new threshold of nil (0) for the purpose of determining whether or not a credit provider

is required to be registered with the NCR in terms of the NCA.

The implication of this new threshold is that from 11 November 2016, any person or entity that is involved in the provision of credit will now

be required to register irrespective of the number of agreements they entered into and/or the value of the principal debt.

“Consumers are advised to only obtain credit from duly registered entities,

as doing so will advance their rights as provided for in the NCA,” said the CEO of the NCR Nomsa Motshegare.

Persons or entities registered with the NCR must display a NCR certificate and a window decal on the business premises.

“If consumers are in doubt about the registration status of any entity, they can contact the NCR for verification,” she added.

Motshegare said that those registered are also required in terms of the NCA to renew their registration annually.

The new regulation makes provision for the NCR to charge penalty fees for any late renewal of registration.

“While the NCR sends the notices of annual renewal of registration, it remains the responsibility of each registrant to monitor due dates of renewal and comply with this provision timeously,”

 she explained. In addition, the NCA, as amended, introduced affordability assessment regulations with

the aim of assisting credit providers to effectively assess the consumer’s ability to repay credit and thereby avoid extending reckless loans.

In terms of the NCA, the NCR has a responsibility to review fees and interest rates charged by credit providers.

The review of the limitation on fees and interest rates regulations published on 6 November 2015 in the Government Gazette came into effect on 6 May 2016.

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