DCASA Conference – Review (Part 1)
The Debt Counsellors Association of South Africa held their annual conference in Gauteng this month. Debt Counsellors from around the country attended along with credit providers and other support services.
The day began and ended early with hundreds in attendance. Most of those attending were from the Gauteng area and at least one of the largest Debt Counselling firms in SA had representatives at the event. Most Debt Counsellors in South Africa are split between Gauteng and Cape Town, with the biggest firms being mostly situated in Cape Town. Debt Counsellors are able however to assist consumers countrywide and DCASA have many provincial branches across the country. Representatives from these regional DCASA groups were in attendance.
The event took place in the now familiar venue at Emperor’s Palace (who have a conference centre) and was well attended. Also there on the day were a number of displaying industry role players ranging from industry-specific insurance providers (like ONE|SURE), to PDAs (all except NPDA attended) to ancillary services such as Compuscan (who also offer training to the industry). Some banks such as FNB and ABSA had stands where Debt Counsellors could interact with them face to face.
This was very helpful and allowed Debt Counsellors to breifly exchange contact info and mention matters that require urgent attention.
Special time was set aside during the event for guests to mingle and enjoy some tea and visit the sponsor stands. Though brief, these breaks enabled everyone to stay fresh between all the speeches and presentations. Attendees were able to grab a bunch of the printed Special Edition of Debtfree Magazine as well. Many of those displaying had nice gifts for the guests ranging from pens and water bottles to lip ice and sweets. At the end of the day some even gave away prizes such as Hyphen PDA (a Tablet) and CollectNet PDA (an iPad).
The pleasant day was a mix of general business information (such as the presentation on PoPI) and association-specific speeches (such as the review of the year by the DCASA President). Some of the highlights included a speech about the state of the economy (not great) by Mike Schussler and consumer debt by Maya Fisher-French (also not good). These speeches made it clear that there is a definite need for debt counselling in SA.
DCASA & Debt Intervention
The current and also the former DCASA president gave presentations on the accomplishments of DCASA recently ( motivating for a DC Fee Structure improvement) and also the concerns of the association about Debt Intervention and its impact on the NCR (who are being asked to handle the process). The low uptake of debt review was once again a topic of discussion due to the obvious need. At the same time, the good work that has been done was clear from the amount of money that is being collected through the debt review process, benefitting both credit providers and consumers.
DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION HERE
[more information on these presentations in part 2 of our review on Monday]
Easy Come, Easy Go
The day ended a bit earlier due to a decision to forgo the usual question and answer session at the end of the day and guests who wrote down questions were promised an electronic reply. This made it possible for many to leave a bit earlier and beat the traffic.
The day ran smoothly and all who attended enjoyed receiving a new helpful guide booklet on PoPi and its impact on debt review, as well as, all the chats, snacks and lunch buffet.
Want more info on the specifics of the presentations?
Check out part 2 of our Review next week (for some more downloads).