Who Are The NCT?
The NCT is short for the National Consumer Tribunal.
The National Consumer Tribunal is a special organization in South Africa that helps protect consumers’ rights and ensure fair practices between consumers and credit providers.
The National Consumer Tribunal was established as part of the National Credit Act (NCA), which is the law that aims to regulate and promote responsible lending and borrowing in South Africa.
What Exactly Do They Do?
The main job of the National Consumer Tribunal is to resolve disputes between consumers and credit providers when it comes to financial matters. They have the power to hear certain cases related to credit agreements, debt collection, and other consumer related issues (including debt review).
Disputes And Consumer Rights
The National Consumer Tribunal is able to help in a number of different scenarios where consumers who feel they have been treated unfairly by financial institutions or have disputes with them.
If you have a problem with a loan or credit agreement, or if you think a company has violated your consumer rights, you can take your case to the National Consumer Tribunal. They will listen to both sides of the story and make a fair decision to resolve the issue.
Though they are much like a court (and can issued orders like a high court can) the way this is done is slightly less formal and demanding for consumers. Also, consumers can represent themselves (which keeps costs down) or can get in other people (like attorneys) to help them out if they want.
The NCT and Debt Review
Debt review is a process where a consumer who is struggling with debt seeks professional assistance to manage their finances.
The NCT are able to hear cases where a consumer is about to get into trouble financially and have (with the help of a Debt Counsellor) made a plan to avoid that trouble. If their credit providers are happy with the plan, to avoid that problem, they can make new arrangements with the consumer (often for a set period of time). These arrangements are all put together and put before the NCT. This is commonly known as a consent order.
Note: Most debt review matters go to Magistrates court. This does have legal costs and can be a slightly time consuming process. Still, it adds a layer of protection for people under debt review. Especially for those with assets like a car or home.
If you apply for debt review your Debt Counsellor will be able to determine whether your matter will go to a magistrate’s court or to the NCT.
On occasion, the National Credit Regulator (NCR) might refer a credit provider or Debt Counsellor to the NCT and ask them to rule on some behaviour by this registrant. If the behaviour is bad and the NCT agrees, they can even ask the NCT to fine or deregister someone totally. This is very serious and uncommon but it has happened in the past.
Read more about the NCR HERE
Sometimes a consumer might be having a problem with a credit provider not helping them during a debt review matter and they can apply to the NCT to force the credit provider to do certain things (like amend incorrect statements or just provide statements in the first place). In such a case, your Debt Counsellor can provide a little guidance on how to do that.
The National Consumer Tribunal is in place to protect consumers and to ensure fair treatment in financial matters. They are very involved debt review consent matters and are a pivotal part of the industry.
You can find out more about the NCT on their website here: