The recent court ruling that consumers do not have to produce proof of income to access credit could open a floodgate of lending by creditors. Clothing, furniture, food retailers and other creditors are likely to bolster their credit divisions in a bid to secure clients. Access to credit is a critical tool for financial inclusion. According to the 2017 TransUnion SA Consumer Credit Index (CCI), which is an indicator of consumer credit health, of the estimated 33-million economically active South Africans, only 25-million have had access to credit facilities. The remaining 8-million are in the informal economy with no monthly payslips. Retailers will probably target those people as they jostle to dish out credit. Last week the High Court in Johannesburg ruled against the minister of trade and industry and the National Credit Regulator (NCR) by setting aside parts of the National Credit Act. It removed the income-verification requirements entirely from the regulations even for consume...

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