They may be an unlikely Father Christmas team, but thanks to the National Credit Regulator and the National Consumer Tribunal, clients of a contentious microlending outfit are about to get a rare financial holiday. Tipped off by the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa), the regulator visited offices of Sewatumong Micro Lending CC, a business with wide reach in and around Limpopo. Its findings confirmed Sassa’s concern that the lender was illegally holding pension cards and other documents belonging to small-scale borrowers. The regulator found a wide range of contraventions and took the matter to the National Consumer Tribunal. The tribunal has thrown the book at the microlender, with a slew of punitive orders that should make every other cash lender think carefully. Sewatumong did not attend the hearing but the regulator proved that the business had been kept fully aware of it. Because the tribunal found that the business was properly notified and yet filed no answer to the allegation...

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