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The Annual Debt Review Awards Show 2021

The Annual Debt Review Awards were live streamed via YouTube on Friday 10th September 2021. Here is a quick recap.

Host Omphile Setiloane opens the online live stream

Industry Pre-Show

The event kicked off the mammoth 5 hour long stream with an industry section where members of the debt review legal fraternity discussed current legal trends and challenges. This was followed by a highlights package from the recent State of the Consumer Credit Industry webinar. Then viewers got to hear from previous winners of the various Award categories about how it feels to be recognised by your peers.

Then it was time for some informative product demonstrations and updates from DReX and Maximus. These popular and helpful software suits help Debt Counsellors (and consumers) get the most out of the process and with information sharing within PoPI Act guidelines.


During the break, people were able to submit their pics of themselves all dolled up (via Facebook and Instagram) to show how they were celebrating the day and to enter the competition from the organisers.

The Debt Review Awards Show

Michale Likes Pi


The main Awards Show began at 2pm and guests were both amazed and entertained by the mentalist and memory tricks and skills of Mr Michael Abrahamson. He is known as the Power Brain and it showed. Michael has recently been on TV on Klop die Kunstenaar as well as setting world records remembering Pi to the nth degree.

There were a number of presentations and speeches during the Main Show including words from the NCR Head of Debt Counselling Ms Kedilatile Legodi as well as Mr Benay Sager who spoke on behalf of the National Debt Counsellors Association. Benay was no doubt later very pleased as his team (at DebtBusters) was recognised for their hard work, taking home the highest ratings in their Debt Counsellor practice size category.

Mr Justin vd Linde (formerly of Consumer Friend) hosted part of the show about a day in the life of those involved in the debt review process.

The audience got to have a look into the busy lives of Credit Providers (like Capital Data), Debt Counsellors (like DCGsa), PDAs (like Hyphen PDA) and Attorneys (like Steyn Coetzee). The take away from this section is that everyone works very hard and it is not uncommon for those in the industry to always feel like they are swamped with lots more work to do.

There were also some valuable warnings for consumers from Annienne of Consumer Debt Support and Reinhart of Debt Therapy who delved into the dangers consumers face before and during the process from unscrupulous scammers.

A highlight of the show is, of course, to discuss how consumers are using debt review to pay off their debts. It was great to see how Standard Bank and Debt Counselling Practice, National Debt Counsellors had worked together to cut 12 months off of the review process for two lovely consumers who had loyally been sticking to the process for several years. It reminded the audience that the entire process is all about helping people deal with their debt and make a fresh start.

Some hard working individuals in the industry were identified (with the help of ONE) and received public recognition (and Awards) for their ongoing efforts. In particular, Attorney, Quintin Zimmerman of Liddles and Head of Debt Review at ABSA, Mr Jaco Vd Merwe. This, along with the Technology Adoption Award (which went to Debt Erasers), whet the appetite of the audience to find out who would take top honours in the annual industry peer reviews this year.

The Peer Review Results

A main focus of the event is the announcement of the results from the industry peer reviews. Over the past months, different parties to the debt review process were asked to review their peers on the opposite side of the industry. On the day of the show, the highest rated participants were identified. (Check our full breakdown article later this week and in this month’s Debtfree Magazine).

‘A main focus of the event is the announcement of the results from the industry peer reviews’

Big winners on the day were Standard Bank who took 3 out of 6 possible Awards for credit providers. Debt Counsellors identified FNB as the up and coming debt review department to watch out for in the future as their service levels continue to improve recently.

The Payment Distribution Agent awards were split this year between DC Partner PDA and Hyphen PDA.

Of the 50 highest rated Debt Counsellors, the Top 5 in each Debt Counsellor size category were announced and the top rated revealed. On the smaller practice side of things, Lee Lombard of Garden Route Debt Counsellors took the highest ratings. Shaun Zeelie of Master Your Money and Russel Dickerson (Current head of DCASA) retained their top spots. Eastern Cape Debt Counsellors DCGsa took home the Golden Piggy Bank in their size category. 

In a reversal of last year, National Debt Advisors (NDA) were bumped from their top spot, this year, to be replaced by previous #1National Debt Counselling Practice, DebtBusters. NDA remained in the Top 5 National Debt Counselling practices and say they are looking forward to contesting the top spot again next year.

Thank You and Farewell

The event wrapped up with some thank you speeches and the announcements of the two winners of the photograph submission competition. As Omphi said in her announcement, some of the guests went to an extra effort to look glamourous. Here are the two winners of the R500 Takealot vouchers from this year’s event.

All in all the Debt Review Awards event helped shine a light on consumers getting out of debt and making use of the debt review process and also recognised the efforts of individuals who are working hard in the industry. It was a moment’s reprieve from a lot of the pressure and stress that those who work hard in the industry face every day. 

Those on the Debtfree Magazine team who also help on the Debt Review Awards project say that they are very happy that all the guests and viewers could tune in and our Editor, Mr Zak King, said he was “blown away by all the support and effort” made to make the event a success.


Debtfree Magazine will feature a full review of the Awards in this month’s issue of Debtfree Magazine and some deep dives into the event over the next few days on the website. Be sure to check those out for more highlights and insights.






The Debt Review Awards was supported or sponsored by:

The Debt Review Awards is supported by credit providers such as ABSA, African Bank, Capital Data, Consumer Friend, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Bank; Service providers such as insurance giant ONE, Maximus and Slipstream Technologies play a big role in aiding and promoting the process each year. Also supporting the Awards process are NCR registered Payment Distribution Agents such as DC Partner, Hyphen PDA and iPDA. Associations such as DCASA, NDCA, iDCC and MFSA helped in communication with the industry about the process. The Awards Show this year featured speeches from both the National Debt Counsellors Association and the National Credit Regulator. Attorneys Steyn Coetzee, Kemp du Bruyn and DL Attorneys also played a valuable part in helping with the show this year. The organisers want to thank all these parties as well as all the Peer Review participants for your support and efforts this year.