The National Credit Regulator (NCR) is working with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to target “loan sharks” – credit providers who are using abusive methods to collect outstanding debts.
‘Operation Siyanda’ which was held in the Northern Cape recently is the latest in a round of operations conducted by SAPS which have included Thohoyandou, Venda, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, North West and the Limpopo Provinces. As a result of these operations, six court cases have already been finalised with fines of up to R10 000 or twelve month imprisonment suspended for five years.
“The focus of this kind of operation is primarily on credit providers who are unlawfully garnishing, retaining pension cards, bank cards, identity documents and personal identity numbers (PIN) of their clients as surety,” said Nomsa Motshegare, CEO of the NCR. “This is a contravention of the National Credit Act (NCA)and it is a criminal offence.”
The NCR partnered with the SAPS and the Directorate of Priority Crimes and Investigation in Upington, Keimos, Kakamas and Groblershoop, investigating 32 lenders. This led to the arrest of 13 individuals who contravened the NCA.
During the operation, 13 people were arrested and as a result 11 criminal cases were opened. In addition, the suspects were found to be in possession of 5 453 pension cards, 130 ID books and 1 720 bank cards.
“This operation was definitely not the last of its kind. Such operations are conducted nationally in different parts of the country. Credit providers should be warned that the NCR will not condone any contraventions by credit providers”, says Motshegare.
If you are aware of credit providers using illegal means to collect outstanding debts such as withholding bank cards you should report them to the National Credit Regulator: