Raids by the National Credit Regulator (NCR) on several lenders in the Northern Cape lead to the arrest of four people over the weekend.
The NCR discovered that these suspects had 86 bank and South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) cards, as well as 54 ID books in their possession.
“This is a contravention of the National Credit Act (NCA) and it is a criminal offence,” said Jacqueline Peters, the manager of investigations and enforcement at the NCR.
“We need to ensure that this kind of exploitation of vulnerable and unsuspecting consumers by lenders is rooted out”
The NCR raided 10 lenders in the Northern Cape, surrounding Barkley West, Kimberly, Modder River and Ritchie. These lenders are guilty of unlawful garnishing and keeping bank cards, pension cards, IDs and PINs as surety.
“With the elections nearing, we need to ensure that this kind of exploitation of vulnerable and unsuspecting consumers by lenders is rooted out as to allow consumers to vote,” Peters said.
“The actions of credit providers who don’t fully comply with the NCA will not be tolerated”
Serious Contravention of the NCA
A number of lenders had simply allowed their registration to lapse by not paying renewal fees and others had cancelled their registration voluntarily.
“Credit providers are reminded that it is their duty to ensure that their registration fees are paid and up to date at all time. Continuing to trade after the lapse of their registration due to non-payment of registration fees is a serious contravention of the NCA [National Credit Act].”
“The actions of credit providers who do not fully comply with the NCA will not be tolerated and the necessary enforcement action will be taken,” she warned.