For a long time, South Africans have been warned that the level of personal debt in the country is out of control. Much of the responsibility for this has quite rightly been attributed to credit providers, who in the past have forced consumers to use up to 80% of their monthly income to repay debt. This practice was reckless and immoral, which is why the National Credit Act was eventually promulgated. In 2017, a draft bill giving the National Consumer Tribunal the power to extinguish debt in certain circumstances was published for public comment by Parliament’s trade and industry committee. The South African Institute of Professional Accountants was one of many entities that made submissions on the draft National Credit Amendment Bill. The debt-intervention powers that are being proposed set out a process that credit providers and credit bureaus must follow when they are lending money, and the institute’s submission highlighted certain aspects of the proposal that require further co...

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