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theDCI speak out on new form of Apartheid

South African employees are enslaved to debt with most of their income depleted on garnishee order deductions and minimum installments leaving little to spend on food, transport and other necessities.

The spiraling debt crisis – within which only 13,6 million are employed, yet the country has 20.8 million credit active consumers who owe R1,44 trillion – poses a financial risk to businesses and the economy as debt stressed consumers are less productive and more prone to white collar crime. In addition, a major challenge facing consumers and employers is the high rate of illegal garnishee orders, estimated to be as high as 85 percent, which has created a financial nightmare for consumers.

This was the warning from registered debt counsellor Deborah Solomon and founder of The Debt Counselling Industry Portal,, who along with strategic partners Red Oak Tracing and Capital Software have vowed to launch forensic investigations into the legality of consumers’ garnishee orders.

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Solomon said that theDCI had joined forces with Red Oak Tracing and Capital Software to combat the problem and to instill financial well being via workplace education and training. This alliance provides companies with a fully automated audit and forensic service to investigate garnishee orders, enabling human resources divisions to refocus on their core business. Individual consumers seeking rescissions can also be guaranteed of a quality service.

Garnishee orders have become the order of the day and the legality as to how these orders are taken and the debt behind them is more than questionable. The only solution is to focus on the workplace where consumers spend most of their time,” Solomon said.

She adds: “Sadly, everyone is affected by debt stressed consumers, even disciplined households, because businesses build the cost of bad debts into the price of goods and services.” “There is healthy spending and granting of credit, which is needed not only to sustain our economy but also to ensure growth. However, consumers in financial stress place a block on this healthy sustainability. Debt stressed consumers default on school fees and electricity accounts, resulting in higher annual increases for those who do pay their bills.

Ongoing petrol and electricity price hikes compound the debt crisis as consumers simply cannot afford the higher cost of living of recent years.

“Imagine working monthly only to pay your debts while not having enough money to pay for food or transport? This is not living or existing. This is called “slavery,” Solomon said. She added that the crisis posed a “huge risk” to business.

The risks for every consumer are huge but the risk is even greater for corporates and business owners because according to the latest NCR statistics, nearly half the workforce is in financial stress.” However, she added that the debt crisis was too great for any bank, attorney or corporate to solve alone.

Solomon noted:  “ The DCI has recognized this fact and formed strategic partnerships and engaged a network of debt specialists to combat this problem.  We offer consumer protection as all debt specialists have signed service level agreements with us and are only paid on completion of their work. We guarantee results and deliverables both to consumers and companies.

Solomon concludes:  “When will consumers learn that another credit agreement will not solve their problems and that their debt has done nothing but enslave them? It’s time for business owners to step up and empower their staff. Businesses will pay the highest price of all if they ignore the present crisis and South Africans will be imprisoned in a new Apartheid called Debt Slavery.”