Parliament’s trade and industry committee is in the final stages of processing a draft bill providing debt relief for heavily indebted consumers that remains substantially unchanged despite strong opposition from the banking sector. The committee is expected to conclude its deliberations on the draft National Credit Amendment Bill once Parliament resumes work after the winter recess at the end of July. The bill proposes to give the National Consumer Tribunal the power to extinguish debt in certain circumstances. The targeted group for the envisaged debt relief would be 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 excluding interest and charges.

The minister can review the income and asset thresholds from time to time by means of a notice in the government gazette. Treasury has estimated that the total ...

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