National Credit Act, 2005 (Act No. 34 of 2005)

Chapter 1 : Interpretation, Purpose and Application of Act

Part B : Purpose and Application

3. Purpose of Act

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The purposes of this Act are to promote and advance the social and economic welfare of South Africans, promote a fair, transparent, competitive, sustainable, responsible, efficient, effective and accessible credit market and industry, and to protect consumers, by—

(a)promoting the development of a credit market that is accessible to all South Africans, and in particular to those who have historically been unable to access credit under sustainable market conditions;
(b)ensuring consistent treatment of different credit products and different credit providers;
(c)promoting responsibility in the credit market by—
(i)encouraging responsible borrowing, avoidance of over-indebtedness and fulfilment of financial obligations by consumers; and
(ii)discouraging reckless credit granting by credit providers and contractual default by consumers;
(d)promoting equity in the credit market by balancing the respective rights and responsibilities of credit providers and consumers;
(e)addressing and correcting imbalances in negotiating power between consumers and credit providers by—
(i)providing consumers with education about credit and consumer rights;
(ii)providing consumers with adequate disclosure of standardised information in order to make informed choices; and
(iii)providing consumers with protection from deception, and from unfair or fraudulent conduct by credit providers and credit bureaux;
(f)improving consumer credit information and reporting and regulation of credit bureaux;
(g)addressing and preventing over-indebtedness of consumers, and providing mechanisms for resolving over-indebtedness based on the principle of satisfaction by the consumer of all responsible financial obligations;
(h)providing for a consistent and accessible system of consensual resolution of disputes arising from credit agreements; and
(i)providing for a consistent and harmonised system of debt restructuring, enforcement and judgment, which places priority on the eventual satisfaction of all responsible consumer obligations under credit agreements.