DTI Ask For Input On NCA Regulation Changes
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are responsible for the crafting of regulations which help implement the National Credit Act (NCA). These regulations make it clear how certain sections of the NCA are applied. They provide forms and further information such as exactly how much may be charged for a service or what information is required in certain situations.
For a long while, the industry has been calling for changes to be made to many of the existing regulations and the addition of missing regulations. Over time as the industry has matured and new processes have been added (like Dispute Resolution). In many cases, further clarity is required to ensure that all parties cooperate with the intentions of the NCA.
In recent correspondence, the DTI has called on stakeholders to get involved in discussing possible changes to the Regulations.
The call from the DTI says in part:
‘Kindly note that the Consumer and Corporate Regulation Division (CCRD) of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) is analysing areas of review in the Regulations issued in terms of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 (NCA), as amended. A Discussion Document has been published on the dti website to create an informal platform for the dti and the public to engage on possible reviews areas.’
If you would like to access the discussion document you can download it here
or you can visit the DTI website and download it there.
27 September Deadline
The DTI are giving a week for people to give their initial input on the ideas in the discussion document. They do explicitly state in their document that there will be later input from the public but they want some feedback asap so long.
Responses must be made in writing and emailed to CCRDComments@thedti.gov.za or if you are old school, hand delivered to the dti Campus at 77 Meintjies Street, Block B, 1st Floor, Sunnyside, Pretoria for Attention: Ms. Tshililo Mabirimisa.
Comments have to be given by Friday, 27 September 2019.
Some Interesting Points To Ponder
The DTI will also no doubt want to consider adding information about the pending debt intervention process done by the NCR (or they may hold off for a while until everyone figures out if it will happen and how).
Some interesting highlights are found in 2.12 & 2.13 which discusses PDAs and how long they have to pay money over. There is also a proposal made that banks should refund the PDAs for reversals.
Credit bureaus are being taken to task in point 2.29 over giving away weak, rather non-informative reports when they give consumers their “free” reports.
Debt review changes are proposed in the document such as at 2.24 where it says consumers should give written confirmation of applying for debt review (to stop people ending up in debt review after a chat on the phone about the process).
2.35 calls on consumers to give documentary proof of info they provide to Debt Counsellors (eg to prove expenses).
NCR Wants to Make Guidelines Binding
The NCR has long wanted to go around the requirements of having the DTI or Parliament put stuff into the NCA or regulations before they implement them across the industry. This is a point of much dissent in the industry where many fear the NCR could twist the process away from the purpose or wording of the NCA.
The NCR would naturally like to see their opinions (which they issue in guidelines) turned into binding requirements for the debt review process. This DTI discussion document again introduces the contentious thought of the NCR sidestepping the legislative process by making guidelines binding in point number 2.36 (which discusses DCRS) and 2.46 (where the NCR can issue biding forms).
An interesting point raised in 2.36 & 2.38 is making DCRS the binding rules for debt review proposals and also making everyone (including Debt Counsellors) pay for the system.