Parliament urges National Credit Regulator to tighten grip on loan sharks

19 Nov 2014

National Credit Regulator should tighten grip on loan sharks, Committee

The Select Committee on Trade and International Relations has called on the National Credit Regulator (NCR) to tighten grip on loan sharks. The Chairperson, Mr Eddie Makue, said the Committee is concerned that vulnerable people are exposed to unregulated credit and often become debt victims to this activity.

“The NCR should protect poor South Africans against reckless lending by unregistered micro-lenders. In most rural and semi-urban areas people live through borrowing; the interest they get charged is shocking, and should be capped,” Mr Makue said.

“It is unacceptable that the victims of these micro-lenders is the most destitute in society, and virtually depend on South African Social Services Agency (SASSA) money for everything,” he said.

NCR revealed in Parliament on Wednesday that over 2000 SASSA cards had been confiscated from loan sharks in one raid conducted at a SASSA paypoint, over and above 68 bank cards and a number of identity documents. It was revealed that opening criminal cases against the loan sharks did not help because poor people were reluctant to testify as witnesses.

Mr Makue said the NCR has a responsibility to ensure that poor South Africans are not exploited and made to pay for being destitute. “For those loan sharks who are still into the habit of taking people’s cards and IDs there has to be consequences,” Mr Makue said.

He called on the NCR to avail information that Members could take to constituencies about the NCR and its work.

For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact:
Sibongile Maputi
Cell: 081 052 6060
Tel: 021 403 8041