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Industry Event

The Debt Counsellors Association of South Africa are hosting regional meetings to discuss industry matters and update members.

Recently, both the Gauteng and Western Cape branches met. Here are some of the details from both meetings.


The Western Cape regional meeting of DCASA was held in Sommerset West at the Drama Factory. 

After a welcome from local DCASA Representative Nadia de Weerdt (of Sandton DC) discussion got underway into various industry goings on.


DC Credit Protect (DCCP) were on hand to discuss insurance related matters and were one of the day’s sponsors. 

Eddie mentioned that along with credit life cover DCCP offer funeral cover and an income protector (linked to R5k/10k/15k options). DCCP is integrated with Intuitive and Simplicity (and these systems enable Debt Counsellors to draw integrated quotations off the system  without a need for double capturing of data).

Then there was a discussion about African Bank and Capitec Bank once again fighting substitutions (of their existing insurance). Eddie recommended that Debt Counsellors make sure they get feedback, send to right email. 

As a reminder at Capitec Bank it must go to the FAIS department at present but the debt review department want to move it in house. For now this involves sending separate emails though.

There have reportedly (from the audience) been some recent snags with ABSA as well.

Other Debt Counsellors present report something problematic going on at Standard Bank now. Sometimes they say they didn’t get notified about the substitution.

Overall, it just seems that debt review departments and insurance departments have poor communication between them and this can lead to problems if not monitored by the Debt Counsellor and the insurance provider.

What you want to see is that the credit provider should confirm that substitution has happened. The big banks who have great systems and lots of resources to lead the way should all do it but unfortunately even they are not all doing so all the time. 

Interestingly, policies should lapse if not paid, but often times substituted insurance pulls off debt review payment and thus messes with the planned (and agreed) debt restructured repayment cascade.

Proposal acceptances by credit providers (which are used at court or the NCT) should give a detailed breakdown and should disclose how much is set aside for insurance.

DCASA Gauteng

ONE were the generous hosts for the Gauteng regional meeting. With a few words said by CJ and the opportunity to enjoy the comfortable boardroom and snacks.

Hyphen PDA integrates with two user software packages Simplicity and Maximus. They both feature specialised functionality for Debt Counsellors and allow Debt Counsellors to inform Hyphen PDA how to distribute funds on behalf of the consumers.

Industry Updates, CIF and the DCASA AGM

At both meetings there were industry updates that covered what happened at the AGM, the Debt Review Awards and what has been brewing at CIF. There were also discussions about industry challenges and particular developments with different credit providers.

Debt Counsellors were first reminded that their quarterly Form 42s are due this month.

Then some information about an interesting Declaratory Order that is being sought was shared. The case relates to induplum and NCA Section 103(5) so is a pretty big deal. The ruling in this case will hopefully help define where the word ‘default‘ applies with regard to debt review and Section 103(5).

The Credit Industry Forum

Both meetings enjoyed a Credit Industry Forum (CIF) update.

Currently, the CIF are talking about debt counselling fees. More specifically; when one of the fees should be drawn.

The NCR are looking into splitting the big initial fee that Debt Counsellors receive for their work into smaller portions or asking the PDA’s to hold on to the payment and split it up over several months.

They say they want to do this because some rogue Debt Counsellors are not delivering on the services required. The audience at the meetings feel that instead of targeting these Debt Counsellors for strict monitoring the NCR are going to make all other Debt Counsellors who do already stick to the guidelines and do the work suffer. They are worried it will not actually have any impact on these few Debt Counsellors in question.

DCASA and the National Debt Counsellors Association have asked for statistical proof of any such abuses to see if this is really an issue or not.

Almost all Debt Counsellors are nervous about a possible change to the first payment (it is half of the fees they receive throughout the “normally” 5 year long process). They are nervous because their suddenly slashed cashflow may put smaller practices out of business if they have to wait so long for payments.

‘They are nervous because their suddenly slashed cashflow may put smaller practices out of business’

The topic is no doubt going to be debated and all attendees were reminded that any change would have to be agreed to by all parties at the CIF, which at the moments and in the current format is unlikely. Guests were told not to panic.

One problem is that the PDAs are not legally allowed to hold funds they receive. They have a set amount of days to make payments within.

Also, the interest on such funds would belong to the Debt Counsellors and not the NCR (who normally gets any extra such interest or whatever from unlocatable funds etc at the PDAs). This presents a lot of book keeping challenges.

Changing Fees & Missing Fees

DCASA asked if the CIF discussion will review the fee amounts and missing fees as was initially thought based on the name of the CIF subcommittee.

The NCR have responded that that will not be possible. The CIF committee will simply be focused on the timing of the restructuring fee alone. 

Legal Fees

The same CIF subcommittee are also talking about Legal fees. Here, it seems, the committee are not talking about the timing of such fees as stated in their reply about the restructuring fee for Debt Counsellors. 

One thing that the National Debt Counsellors Association and DCASA wish to have clarified is that the legal fees are not paid for the outcomes of the legal work but rather the work itself.


Using DCRS

Then there was a discussion about some problems with smaller credit providers refusing DCRS proposals (this is a proposal based on a popular BASA approved automatically successful if applied style software calculator for debt restructuring).

The challenge is that some Debt Counsellors use the system to generate an “easily accepted” proposal with great benefits to the consumer. They send the proposal formally to all credit providers involved and 99% send back approval. But perhaps one smaller credit provider insists on some other structure of repayments (Eg. a higher interest rate).

‘But perhaps one smaller credit provider insists on some other structure of repayments’

When the various DCRS accepting credit providers see a change to the proposal which reflects that demand they may then reject these changes even if small and not directly effecting their repayments. This is because it will not 100% line up with the DCRS system and what it shows.

So, it is advisable where this situation does arise that the Debt Counsellor share the reason why the DCRS proposal has updated just that particular credit provider and note that everyone else’s proposal stays the same. Perhaps this will move the credit providers to accept the amended plan.

Capitec Bank

Capitec Bank seem worried about legal fees that delay payments to credit providers in month 3 of the process (or more). Obviously they do not have direct oversight over this as legal fees and the attorney agreement lies between the consumer and attorney.

They have also shared that they would prefer to see other insurances (non credit life) come off a different debit order and not along with debt review.

The Debt Review Awards 2024 Process Has Begun

A new round of peer reviews for the next year has begun and DCASA members and others are invited to attend an online workshop about the process on Friday 23rd November 2023. Check the Debtfree Website (and emails) for more details.

NCR Debt Help Issues

There have been reports of the NCR’s Debt Help System going down sometimes for days at a time. 

When this has occurred some Debt Counsellors report some client files missing, others added and many transfer requests automatically processed. This concerns many Debt Counsellors and could result in fraud or problems for consumers.  

Finally, guests also received a round up of the DCASA AGM. One of the highlights there relates to how DCASA and the National Debt Counsellors Association of South Africa have been cooperating on various industry related matters.

You can read more about the AGM here

There were a number of new members at both meetings and Gauteng, in particular, had one of their largest meetings in recent times.

Attendees had a chance, after the formal part of the meeting was over, to network, enjoy some snacks and exchange contact information and advice.

To find out more about DCASA email: