Debt Review Awards 2018 – Presenters and Speeches
The Annual Debt Review Awards was held this year at the River Club in Cape Town. The host for the evening was Mr. Rob Van Vuuren (who is famous for his portrayal of the character Twakkie). He is well known for his physical comedic manner and really entertained the audience with his observations and wit.
The first speaker for the evening was Mr Raymond Gundula from the Department of Trade and Industry. He spoke on the topic of being ethical and assisting those of lesser means. Currently, Government is exploring a new amendment bill to the National Credit Act which will potentially see the National Credit Regulator and National Consumer Tribunal trying to assist around 1.4 Million consumers to deal with their debt. He shared that the DTI support the Debt Review Awards and would like to see the continued professionalisation of the industry while still caring primarily for consumers.
The next viewpoint explored was that of the people who handle the financial side of the industry, namely the Payment Distribution Agencies (PDAs). Mr Chris Van Der Straaten of Hyphen PDA spoke about some serious game changers which are coming in the next year. He mentioned some that have already happened like the new Debt Review fee structure and VAT increase. He also looked ahead to Debicheck and Debt Intervention. He also spoke briefly about the PDA fees and where the industry may be headed.
Ms Denise Hartley of Nedbank brought a Credit Provider perspective to the evening by discussing how the industry has progressed and is actively helping consumers every day. She explained how debt review not only positively impacts on the person with the debt but also their family and friends. She urged the audience to continue assisting consumers to help themselves and by extension others around them.
After the Clearance certificate hand out and presentation of the ONE|SURE Awards for significant contribution to the industry there was a break for dinner and mingling. Then Mr Roger Brown of Credit Matters spoke as both an Attorney and Debt Counsellor. He explained that every individual helped is like that starfish in the story which is thrown back into the ocean. How all in the industry are making a difference to peoples lives. He said that he has seen an increase in clearance certificates issued and this is great for consumers. All Debt Counsellors strive to get rid of their clients by helping them get out of debt (unlike some professions).
Zak King [our Editor] pulled all the various presentation together into a current look at where the industry is at the moment. This painted the landscape against which the recent industry Peer Review was taken. He touched on both the positive and worrisome. Looking ahead he said that 2017 and 2018 may one day be considered the “good old days”, the “golden days” of debt review.
Steve Rosenberg of the Debt Review Awards managed to entertain and inform the audience with what he called some of the “boring stuff” as he reviewed the category and Peer Review questions refinements which were made last year leading up to the 2018 process. He mentioned that after each Annual event the organisers call for comment and assistance refining the process and that though there had been an 80% satisfaction rating last year (“that’s an A) he said the organisers want to strive to improve. He called on members of the industry to send input and participate in the coming post Debt Review Awards surveys.
The evening ended after the Winners of the Awards were announced and guests were able to enjoy dessert and collect free issues of the Debtfree SPecial Print Edition Magazine and their ‘Swag bag” of gifts on their way home.