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Getting Left In The Dark

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) is thinking ahead to make sure that our financial system stays strong, even if something really unusual happens, like a total power blackout.

You might have heard about the total power outage in Nigeria recently, where they had no electricity. Their entire electrical grid shut down and it is not the first time it has happened there. The NCR doesn’t want us to be caught off guard if that ever happens here in South Africa.

Already the industry has to deal with rolling loadshedding which we are all familiar with and though we have adjusted to it on a day to day basis, what happens if the electricity goes off for several days? How does this effect banking, consumer obligations, court activity and the ability of Debt Counsellors and Banks to deal with debt review matters?

The NCR are busy doing some research into the situation and this possible scenario.

They’ve sent out surveys to people who work in the financial world, including the banks and Debt Counsellors, asking them what we should do if we can’t use our computers, emails, or even go to court because of a power cut.

It Might Never Happen

You might be wondering, “Why are they worrying about something that might not even happen?”

Well, it’s because being prepared is always a good idea. The NCR would like to make sure we have a plan (or at least the basis of such a plan) in case something unexpected like this ever happens. It’s like when you practice fire drills at the office – it’s not likely a fire will happen, but it’s smart to be prepared.

We should give credit to the NCR for being proactive and talking to all the people involved in the industry to get their ideas and feedback. It is always great when many people get to have input. This is something that people have been discussing privately and now it is being covered on an industry level.

Even though it’s not very likely that we might see a total grid failure lasting many days, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

It also shows that the NCR cares about keeping our financial world running smoothly, and is planning for such eventualities. Hopefully those who work in the industry will have good suggestions on what might be done if such a disruption does occur.

Currently they are distributing the following 3 questionnaires:

Impact of load shedding Questionnaire – Banking Sector

Impact of load shedding -Retail Sector

Impact of Load shedding Questionnaire – Generic

and comments must be sent to:

Mr Bongani Gwexe on and Ms Mmalefa Motaung on by close of business on Monday, 6 October 2023