Credit & Consumer Law Advocates
What is Credit & Consumer Law?
Two key pieces of legislation govern credit and consumer law in South Africa: The National Credit Act, No. 34 of 2005 (NCA) and the Consumer Protection Act, No. 68 of 2008 (CPA).
Since the promulgation of the NCA, a new chapter has opened in South Africa’s credit and consumer law. The NCA now forms part of a comprehensive legislative overhaul designed to protect the consumer in the credit market and to make credit and banking services more accessible. The NCA was introduced to promote a fair and non-discriminatory marketplace for access to consumer credit and to provide for the general regulation of consumer credit and improved standards of consumer information. Its main objective is to protect consumers, but in doing so, the NCA aims to secure a credit market that is 'competitive, sustainable, responsible and efficient', which it seeks to do by balancing the respective rights and responsibilities of credit providers and consumers.
The CPA aims to promote and advance the social and economic welfare of consumers in South Africa. The CPA has been drafted to achieve this objective through, inter alia, establishing a legal framework for maintaining a fair, accessible and efficient marketplace for consumers; reducing the disadvantages experienced in accessing goods or services by vulnerable consumers; protecting consumers from unfair trade practices; encouraging responsible consumer behaviour; promoting consumer empowerment and providing an efficient system of redress for consumers.