The Treasury estimates the total debt that could fall under debt-extinguishing provisions of the National Credit Amendment Bill proposed by Parliament’s trade and industry committee could range from R13.2bn to R20.7bn. Banks and retailers would be the most heavily affected by the proposed extinguishing of debt, the Treasury said in a presentation to the committee on Tuesday during public hearings on the proposals. The Treasury is seeking senior counsel opinion on whether the extinguishing of debt would infringe on the property rights of creditors. The banks are opposed to the proposals, which they say will raise the cost of credit and reduce credit extension to low-income groups. They emphasise that they have their own individual debt-relief measures. The committee has proposed amendments to the National Credit Act. The proposed changes include writing off — after a protracted process — the debt of people with gross monthly income of less than R7,500, who fall within the threshold o...

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