DROWNING IN DEBT
How reckless lending is killing the economy
Reckless lending is back in the dock as another consumer takes on Capitec over possible contravention of the National Credit Act. It’s one of many such challenges against credit providers that highlight the dire state of overindebtedness in a country where those who owe money outnumber those who earn it
Magoshi Thobejane was working as a pump attendant at Twickenham Platinum Mine in the backwaters of Mpumalanga in 2014 when he ran into financial difficulties. So he applied to his bank for a loan. The flush of new credit, however, didn’t bring the respite he’d hoped for. Instead, it kicked off a chain of events that will place Thobejane in the Cape high court, facing off against one of SA’s most profitable financial services providers, Capitec. According to his founding affidavit filed as part of the court papers, Thobejane already had an existing credit agreement with his bank, Capitec, with an outstanding balance of just under R70,000. In this submission, he says Capitec offered him two loans in May 2014. Loan one, for R80,000, addressed the existing loan and required repayments of R3,664.84/month for 34 months. Loan two came in the form of a product called a "multi-loan": this consisted of multiple one-month loans accessed via an ATM, each treated as a single loan with an initiat...