A draft bill giving the National Consumer Tribunal the power to extinguish debt in certain circumstances has been published for public comment by Parliament’s trade and industry committee, which formulated it. The targeted group for debt relief are individuals earning a gross monthly income of not more than R7,500, who have no readily realisable assets (excluding exempted items mentioned in the bill), are not subject to debt review and have debt of less than R50,000. The draft National Credit Amendment Bill also provides for mandatory credit life insurance on all credit agreements longer than six months with a value of less than R50,000. The committee spent many months preparing the draft bill which arose out of its concern over the level of overindebtedness in the country. Also of concern was the fact that certain categories of consumers who had no hope of extricating themselves from their debt burden were excluded from existing debt intervention measures because of their high cost...

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