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Debtfree South Africa’s debt counselling magazine

August 2012

YOU HAVE A VOICE TO ALL “CONSUMER DEBT GUARDIANS” During the brief history of our industry, there have been many occasions when we spoke about the direction that our industry would take, why certain matters where not addressed and how was it possible that DCs had so little support. We have all suffered, endured and felt the pains of despair on more than a few occasions. Looking back at all our many obstacles, the fights amongst ourselves, the bullying tactics of attorneys and credit providers, the desperation of our clients and the endless hours we take to ensure our clients are protected – amazingly we have persevered and can proudly say we are the ones left standing.

What many of us do not even realise, is how successful we as an industry are. Collectively we all have helped to save tens of thousands of cars, homes and lives. We have saved families being torn apart, given sanity to those in debt but most of all, we have become an important part in helping to save the South African economy. The New Economic Rights Alliance have formed an independent Debt Counselling Union. Every DC and association has been invited to join the existing stronghold of an NPO who currently has more than 100,000 consumers on their database. New Era are the one’s responsible for helping in the Michael Tellinger case. They


have currently served Summons on every bank in SA - and debt counsellors via theDCI have been called to join forces with them in their fight for justice. Included into their court papers will be the debt counselling industry’s own fight for justice – the bad faith that terrorises not only our consumers but every DC and their attorney. This is a massive class action that is happening right now. For the first time every debt counsellor has been invited into an action personally. It is the first time that we, as an industry, can voice our concerns and build a case together with a stronghold of consumers backing us as we do them. This is about the masses of voices

all singing the same song, not a chosen few singing their own tune. In this theDCI Special Edition of Debtfree DIGI you will find a letter from NewERA about the Union. To join go to http://micro2. Queries should be addressed to the Chairman at NewEra who you can mail at: chairman@ If ever there was a time to Speak Up, Stand Together And Unite As One – it is now.

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CONTENTS 5 Editors notes

9 News

20 DEBT VADER Amandla! Awetu! 23 VATMAN Death & taxes

26 Mpho Thekiso

32 Service directory

30 Need to not speed

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EDITOR’S NOTE First off, give yourself a gold medal! Why? Why not? You’r a good person aren’t you? You deserve it. We already know you have great taste in reading material. Ah, shucks go on and give yourself another medal just for that. But seriously... the fun and games of the Olympics is over and once again a mild distraction fades into memory as reality and the obligations we face come back to stress us. Well, at least if you are reading this magazine then like thousands of other South Africans, you have decided to be proactive about tackling your debt. Taking action about a problem always helps reduce your stress levels. So...give yourself another gold medal! The last few weeks have not only been about being glued to your TV screen. There has been some crazy things going one, like the tragic news story of a debt-stressed consumer who committed suicide because of not knowing what to do about her debt. In the news section you will also find out about how ABSA sold a

consumer’s house on auction for only R1000. Madness! The debate over VDMS is still raging on, and while all that is going on, the NCR are complaining about DC’s outsourcing some of their work load to ADR’s. Oh, by the way the NCR outsourced an investigation into VDMS and it is rumoured that the results are back. Once you have caught up on the news, look at the unfair treatment of consumers under debt review and consider why this is happening, and what you could do about it. We also have advice and features on industry role players and lot, lots more. Remember how determined you were to start working out to get “abs” like those Olympians? Well, use that determination to push you to new heights of physical fitness and we hope that you can use this months issue to get you just one step closer to the ultimate ‘gold medal’ - being debt free.



NEWS FLASH For daily debt counselling news visit ABSA sell consumers home for R1000.00 ABSA ‘s home loans legal team make a huge mess up. A young Cape Town consumer received the shocking news that ABSA sold her house for only R1000. She bought the house just three years ago and borrowed an amount of R195 000 from ABSA to do so. This single mother has rightly said: “I’m financially ruined”.

light. It just goes to show how lackadaisical the ABSA home loans legal team must be to allow such an incredibly stupid situation to develop. In what way does this help the bank get it’s money back? No doubt somebody is about to find themselves without a job and ABSA will have to do some fancy footwork to explain this sort of behavior away.

You can visit NewERA’s website at: http://www. ABSA have, as is the norm in situations where or you can contact ABSA for a they take legal action against a bond, now home loan via their website here: http://www. asked that she pay off the balance of the loan amount (less the R1000 but plus legal costs). In fact, they asked her to pay back the “the shortfall balance of R268 239.98“. The Debt Review vs Debt Mediation consumer can clearly not afford to do so. Her dream of owning her own home has now Debt Review or Debt Mediation? Which way will you go? turned into an nightmare. The consumer has tried to talk to ABSA about Debt Review as done by Debt Counsellors is the matter and has said “It’s impossible. It naturally a form of debt mediation. The Debt doesn’t make any sense for a house to the Counsellor who is also seen by the National Credit Act (NCA) as an alternative dispute value of R195 000 to be sold for R1000,” resolution agent (ADR) mediates between a Various parties, including the NewERA have consumer and a credit provider. In most cases become involved with publicizing this matter. this happens as part of the debt review process They have said of this story that “Our banking which leads to court and a debt restructuring court order from a magistrate. However a new system is out of control.” The sale in execution ordered by ABSA seems (or rather should we say an old) form of debt to have taken place a while ago and this mediation has reared it’s head recently as the consumers story has only recently come to National Debt Mediation Association (NDMA)

NEWS CONT. has tried to break out of it’s corner back into debt mediation. The NDMA has recently been identified as a credit provider representative body to resolve disputes that Debt Counsellors and consumers have with uncooperative creditors. It seems that while this new role has proved the usefulness of the NDMA to BASA (the Banking Association of South Africa) and it’s other members and has ‘kept it in the game’ the NDMA now want to get back into the arena they were first created for: debt mediation. Due to the fact that Debt Counsellors have been and are busy with debt mediation either through a voluntary or statuary process this has brought the NDMA into conflict with some Debt Counsellors. Over the last few days theDCI (the Debt Counselling Industry) an online resource and forum for consumers and Debt Counsellors has spoken out about the possible conflict of interests that the NDMA face as a credit provider representative body. This was sparked off by the proposed Voluntary Debt Mediation program (VDMS) which the NDMA are trying to promote. Basically it is almost identical to voluntary debt review (which has not met with great success due to credit provider resistance over the last 5 years). The National Credit Regulator is nervous of the process and representatives from the National Credit Tribunal have said it (VDMS) appears to be an attempt by the banking association to avoid regulation (by the NCR). This is now being investigated by an external consulting firm. It is rumoured that the report from this external firm has come back to the NCR. The results have not as yet been published by the NCR. Some say that the report points to conflicts

with the National Credit Act and other Acts as well, however this remains to be seen. One source has told Debtfree that the NDMA intend to “go ahead with VDMS” even if the report is negative saying that they will “wait for the NCR to take legal action to stop them“. It is unclear if this is the case certainly there seems little benefit to fighting with the NCR. The NDMA have come out strongly in regard to comments made by Deborah Solomons of theDCI saying that her warning to consumers to weigh the motives of the NDMA’s proposed debt mediation and to consider if all consumer rights will be protected as effectively as when under debt review. The NDMA’s CEO Magauta Mphahlele has said that the claims are: ” flawed, baseless, malicious and misleading to both consumers and the public.” What is of interest. is that the leadership of the Debt Counsellors Association of South Africa (DCASA) have taken a pro VDMS stance. Recently DCASA released a newsletter that came out in full support of VDMS and stated that all members of the National Executive Committee of DCASA were in full support of the program. It is unclear how many actual members of the rank and file of DCASA support the program as many members are surprisingly uninformed about the system which sits poised to replace their normal way of doing business. The Alliance of Professional Debt Counsellors (AllProDC) has taken the opposite stance in regard to this matter. The NDMA hope that most slightly indebted consumers will be able to be helped through the VDMS system. Calculations as produced by the software which Debt Counsellors have been using called DCRS and which will be used in VDMS comes up with nice rearranged

NEWS CONT. payment plans quite quickly for consumers who have between 70 and 80% of their actual debt obligation available. This means that a consumer can potentially get a 20% to 30% reduction in repayments through both Debt Review and voluntary debt mediation done with the DCRS program. This represents great relief for these consumers. Sadly the results using the DCRS system have fallen off to only half (53%) of the few matters been handled each month in this manner actually being finalised. The NDMA points to both creditors and debt counsellors not using the system correctly or following through to conclusion as the reason for this dramatic drop in success. What is clear is that while the rich or those with only unsecured credit can easily benefit from the DCRS system (that the NDMA manage) the poor and those with a mixture of secured and unsecured credit with low or fluctuating income, do not. These consumer’s proposals will have to continue to go to court for debt restructuring as creditors often simply wish to remove the consumers assets and repossess or sell them. For now the accusations fly back and forth and consumers are left wondering which to choose, debt review or debt mediation. They will have to wait on the NCR to speak out on the matter.

Repo Rate drops by 50 base points In a surprise move, the Reserve Bank lowered the repo rate by 50 basis points to 5.0% during July 2012. This means that the prime rate is now at 8.5%. Gill Marcus, the Reserve Bank Governor, quoted reduced inflationary risks, and has dropped

interest rates in an attempt to boost the economy, given the developments in the euro zone and mentioned the worldwide slowdown in GDP growth as another motivational factor. “While very few commentators forecast a rate cut today‚ the announcement indicates the nature of the tightrope being walked by the Reserve Bank,” said FNB regarding the cut. This move should reduce pressure on troubled consumers who should perhaps use this opportunity to make inroads into their larger debts before the rate increases once more.

Debt stress leads consumer to terrible decision It is sad when one hears stories about consumers not knowing how to deal with their debt: “Baby, I am so sorry. I owe many people some money and I don’t have that kind of cash to pay them.” Those are among the final words written by a 22-year-old women from the Diepsloot area. Her name, ironically, was Happiness Mbedzi. Shortly after writing these words she ended her own life. In the suicide note Mbedzi left behind for her partner, Ephraim Mudau, she went so far as to list all the people she owed funds to, alongside the amount of money she owed them. Her debts added up to only R3,320. During the week she borrowed money to go to a local store in Diepsloot to buy rat poison. A couple passing by, found her body later that same day, laying face down in the township’s extension 13. A suicide note was found next to her body together with the phone number for her relative. One of her relatives said the day before she died, people had come looking for Happiness to try collect some of the money

NEWS CONT. she owed. One journalist stated that in the area where Happiness lived , “Debt is a big problem because we have such a huge unemployment rate,…In most cases, you will find young women selling their bodies to be prostitutes, while the young men resort to criminal activities,” …There is nowhere people can turn to for help if they are indebted,”. Like so many others, Happiness had resorted to borrowing money to make ends meet. There has been a recent unsecured lending boom in South Africa. Rajeen Devpruth, manager of statistics at the National Credit Regulator (NCR) said that ” the global housing market is dead, so credit providers are looking to other markets to make their money.” They are now heavily promoting unsecured credit loans. Another industry expert points to a sad truth “what consumers aren’t usually aware of is that a significant amount of money goes into the cost of the loan. Unfortunately consumers mostly look at the cost of the installment or repayment, and not the entire cost of credit and generally don’t shop around for credit … people who borrow money at this rate don’t understand that this cost of borrowing isn’t sustainable,”… In Diepsloot, around 2 out of every 3 young people are unemployed. Some say that this makes a small unsecured loan at a local bank look like a good idea for residents who just want to make ends meet. But steep interest rates make it virtually impossible for many of these consumers to ever pay the loan back. This means these loans are actually recklessly granted. Proving this allegation however could cost several thousand rand at court. Something that these consumers cannot afford to attempt to prove, even if they wanted

to. Desperate consumers often underestimate their living costs and some credit providers might turn a blind eye to inconsistencies in loan applications. Sadly many consumers like Happiness don’t know where or how to get help. “If I had told u the truth, u were going to be angry with meso I decided to kill myself,” Happiness wrote in her suicide note, before saying she didn’t know of anyone who could help her with her debt problem. What a tragedy that Happiness was unable to go for debt counselling, since the NCR have recently engaged in educational drives about debt review in the area. Is Debt Review available to all? Even if she had gone looking for help, a sad truth is that she may have struggled to find a Debt Counsellor to help her. After all, there are still very few of these professionals in South Africa. Only around 500 practice in South Africa at the moment. Many Debt Counsellors have quit the industry due to pressure from credit providers against the industry, as well as the stress of the heavy workload. Another factor is that at the moment the revenue/fee structure for debt counselling make consumers, like Happiness, unprofitable and thus undesirable to some Debt Counsellors. Then too with some unscrupulous credit providers pressurizing consumers even after they have entered debt review (instead of acting in good faith in the process) consumers might still be pushed to extremes. If you face debt stress, seek help at once. Don’t hide your debt and the stress it is causing you. Tell someone. They say a problem shared is a problem halved. Debt Review can help consumers to settle their debts over time and Debt Counsellors can help consumers create

NEWS CONT. better household budgets. Visit sites like or read the service directory in Debtfree DIGI each month. Most Debt Counsellors do not even charge the NCA allowed fee of R50 to make an appointment. Get help today!

Debt counsellors’ attention is drawn to the following conditions of registration:

Condition A(2): “The Debt Counsellor must perform debt counselling in a manner that is consistent with the purpose and requirements of the Act. The Debt Counsellor must in all instances act professionally and reasonably NCR critisize Equillore regarding ADR in providing debt counselling services to consumers and provide such services in a The National Credit Regulator (NCR) have manner that is timely, fair, non-discriminatory spoken out against Debt Counsellors using and does not bring the NCR or debt outsourced alternative dispute resolution counselling into disrepute.” agents. Condition A(5): “The Debt Counsellor must They feel this is the Debt Counsellors job not engage in any activity which could be in themselves, and should not be handed to conflict with the interest of the consumers to another party. They particularly have picked whom debt counselling services are provided, on the company Equillore who have been or which may lead to such conflict. The offering Debt Counsellors this service helping Debt Counsellor should not enter into any them sort out issues with credit providers. agreements or engage in any activity which may prevent him or her from acting in the The NCR circular on the subject stated: best interest of the consumers to whom debt ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION counselling services are provided.” This circular is intended to advise all debt counsellors on the practice that the NCR has The National Credit Regulator views the observed intervention by Equillore and any other ADR with regards to alternative dispute resolution agents to be undermining and detrimental agents. to the debt counselling process and advise all debt counsellors to refrain from engaging and A company called Equillore which conducts participating in these activities. alternative dispute resolution is planning to mediate on debt counselling matters where consent is not reached with credit providers. Workshop and Conference for Debt They allege to have agreement with some Counsellors in August debt counsellors who, instead of referring The Alliance of Professional Debt Counsellors debt counselling matters to court, will refer (AllProDC) is hosting a series of provincial such cases to them for mediation until credit workshops for Debt Counsellors about issues providers consent. they face in regard to debt review. Members and non members alike are invited

to attend. Here are the details:

Cost to attend the Conference: DCASA members: Free Staff of DCASA members: R200 AllProDC would like to invite you to a workshop: Non-members: R350 Date: 23 August 2012 Time: 9:30 for 10:00 till 15:00 Place: Parow Golf Club Debt Counsellor sues consumer for Cost: R150 which will include, tea/coffee and a defamation lunch Subject: Focus on problems you as a DC Debt Counsellor Deborah Solomons was experience before and after a court order has present at court in Bellville Cape Town been granted. This will be in the form of a Magistrates Court on Thursday 02 August in discussion and all dc’s will be encouraged to order to sue a consumer for saying defamatory participate in the discussion. things about her. Looking forward to seeing you there. It seems that the consumer...lets call him Steven B* and her, have previously been to court back If you wish to attend you can email AllProDC at: in 2011. In that action in 2011, it seems that Ms Solomon obtained a interdict against Steven B* to get him to stop saying nasty things You can’t help but notice that the AllProDC about her. The Interdict states that she sought workshop will be held the day after the Debt to have him “interdicted and restrained with Counsellors Association of South Africa immediate effect, from unlawfully defaming (DCASA) conference which will be held in and infringing upon the good name, dignitos Kempton Park on the 22nd of August 2012. and fama of the applicant (Deborah) to any The Guest Speakers at the DCASA conference and all third parties, by accusing her of theft are: and fraudulent acts in her capacity as a debt counsellor“. It further stated that he was to be • Judge Monus Flemming – Judicial view of the interdicted from ...”unlawfully threatening and NCA intimidating the applicant and her employees“. • Mike Schussler – Unpacking the Economy for In that matter it seems that Steven B had to pay Debt Counsellors costs. • Frans Haupt – Possible amendments to the The consumer has publicly stated in regard National Credit Act. to another matter which has raised him to • Caroline Smith – Demonstration of the Switch international fame, ”when i start something, that will be implemented in September whatever i do, i give it 100%“. It seems this • Magauta Mphahlele - Voluntary Debt might not be the case in regard to debt review Mediation System (should be interesting what matters however. It seems the consumer was she can or can’t say) placed under debt review for a brief period • Paul Slot – The future of Debt Counselling : of only 2 months before the Debt Counsellor tying everything together. issued a 17.4 (kick you out of debt review)

NEWS CONT. letter due to non-payment. It seems that the consumer later once again entered debt review with Ms Solomon briefly, about a year later, which is when things went sour leading to the interdict. Because of the conditions of the settlement agreement reached last week Ms Solomons was unable to comment on details, Debtfree DIGI has determined that an out of court settlement was agreed upon “without prejudice” between herself and Mr Steven B. It is an interesting case, as it shows other Debt Counsellors should not take bad publicity sitting down. Debt Counsellors often find that they receive the best clients via referrals from existing clients. if a good story spreads quickly, then a bad one will do so twice as fast. It is thus important to take prompt action when a consumer begins to talk negatively about them. Debt Counsellors obviously want to address any legitimate concerns that consumers may have, but should not be shy to take legal action if necessary if they feel they are being maligned of defamed. *Consumer’s name has been changed a bit

the number (though high - representing about 1/3rd of all the people applying for debt review in a single month) may therefore only represent those DC’s and some consumers who are not closely affiliated with these organizations.

The consumer petition: Stop banks acting in bad faith has come to a close.

What the NDMA can’t do for you

DCASA stated that they did not want to support the petition and thus upset their good working relationship with the Banking Association of South Africa members (BASA). They feel that matters should be dealt with on a case by case basis, not in bulk.

AllProDC were seemingly a bit preoccupied with their growth as an organization during the petition and could not give it too much attention. At present, they are trying to get all their members to sign their Code of Conduct as a priority. Sadly many consumers who are under debt review are seemingly discriminated against. [ED- See Debt Vader’s Article this month] Often these consumers face a higher level of collection pressure than other consumers. They are litigated against faster and if you take the time to read the many comments by those who joined the petition you can really feel their Over 2000 Debt Review consumers complain pain and frustration. about harassment from banks

It seems that over 2000 consumers feel they have been harassed by the banks while under debt review. The actual number is undoubtedly higher, however this petition did not receive support from the Debt Counsellors Association of South Africa ( DCASA) nor from the Alliance of Professional Debt Counsellors (AllProDC) so

The NDMA or National Debt Mediation Association – which is a credit provider representative body- have been trying to assist consumers to deal with problems that arise with their debt review (the NDMA also do debt mediation as well). They run a call center that consumers and Debt Counsellors can call.

In many cases the NDMA have been able to assist consumers to get creditors to stop harassing them or trying to kick them out of debt review among other problems. Each month the NDMA get about 130 complaints from consumers. Out of these, about 15 complaints are about creditors sending consumers summonses. Around 26 of those monthly complaints are about creditors who decide they don’t want to cooperate with the consumers debt review and want to “terminate” them. (No, not kill them – just hand the consumer back to their Collections department) Another 26 complaints are about creditors repossessing cars. Then there were other complaints about all sorts of things. While in regard to most types of complaints the NDMA helped half the consumers to sort out their problems in regard to Car Repossessions most of the matters were not resolved in favor of the consumer. The NDMA say this is because ”Car repossessions were mostly unfavourable due to the credit provider having the right of termination of repossession and the consumer not being able to meet the conditions for reinstatement due to lack of affordability or the credit provider having concluded litigation and in a process of auctioning the assets to recover monies.” So it seems that if legal action has happened then it is of little value to complain to the NDMA. They also say that “The status of these accounts makes it difficult for the NDMA to negotiate reinstatement, hence the importance of consumers seeking assistance early.” Basically the NDMA can help with many smaller, simple matters but once legal action has commenced in regard to a car repossession

they are mostly not able to assist consumers all that often. This does not mean that consumers should not complain just that they should be realistic in asking a Credit Provider representative body to stop credit providers (mostly the banks in the case of vehicles) doing whatever they want. To find out more about the NDMA head over to:

NewERA sue the “Greedy Monsters” The Sheriff of the Court has just served the four major banks, and the Reserve Bank, with a summons from the New Economic Rights Alliance: Case number 27478/12. Simply put, the NewERA is asking the High Court to declare our money lending system fraudulent and unconstitutional. We are not suing for money. Alternatively, we are asking the Court to suspend all legal action currently taken against every South African by the banks, until a full investigation has been undertaken into our banking system. Here is what they say about their legal action: “It may be bold. It may be daring. But it is 100% correct. The banks are doing some terrible things behind our backs and two years of research by dozens of people around the country, working in their spare time and for no money, has culminated in this action. It is a miracle that we made it this far. We are very proud.” What can you do about it? Take an interest in our money system. Understand WHY we are taking action against the banks. Download and watch “The Dark

NEWS CONT. Secrets of Money” here (or watch it on YouTube here). We cannot stress this enough – for the sake of your family’s future, you need to know how the money system works. The legal document is attached, but it is complicated, so commentary will be available soon to help you understand it. Follow and comment on the case at www. Become a paying member here or donate a small amount to our cause.

Return of the Jedi - Retraction: In the July 2012 issue of Debtfree our correspondent, Sith Lord of Debt Review Debt Vader, made some colourful comments about Paul Slot, Andre Synman and Luke Hirst. Debtfree was able to do some digging and was able to determine that neither Luke nor Andre have been directly involved in the implementation of the VDMS pilot project in which Debt Busters and Consumer Assist were lined up to participate in (before the The banking system is a greedy monster that NCR put it on hold). Also Debt Vader, in typical is coming to eat us. Only we, the people, can Sith Lord style, was nasty in saying that these stop it. three experienced Debt Counsellors and THE NEW ECONOMIC RIGHTS ALLIANCE businessmen will “agree to anything to further their own interests”. We apologise if the “dark side” of these comments offended anyone.





Mail your comments to Debt Vader on


DEBT VADER Amandla! Awetu! Loosely translated means “Power! To us! Amandla, Awetu! signified the call to equality and the fight against discrimination during the apartheid years. It seems South Africans have obtained that freedom only to promptly sell ourselves into slavery to the Banks. The Banks quickly swooped into what they described as a new market segment, the “previously disadvantaged” and sold them everything from credit cards and personal loans to mortgage bonds and asset finance. Why? Because it was an easy sale! Now years later, the cat’s out the bag on unsecured lending and the effects that servicing these loans have on the average household are evident.

next month. If he defaults again, he may even be given a second opportunity to correct the default and finally he will be issued with a Notice in terms of S129 informing him of his default, demanding payment and informing him that legal process is imminent. Some consumers can go for months and months without any action taken against them. Consumer’s under debt re-arrangement orders are not afforded the same courtesy. Should a debt review consumer default on even one debt review payment to a credit provider they immediately move to enforcement proceedings. If a person has entered the debt review process but no debt re-arrangement court order is yet obtained, the credit provider will issue a S86(10) termination letter letting the consumer and the debt counsellor know that legal action is imminent. If a mistake has been made there is still time to rectify it before the matter reaches the courts and the consumer has to incurs huge legal costs.

The DTI thought the answer was the NCA, which was intended to help the lower and middle income groups re-establish financial stability but which has instead labeled these well meaning consumers further. Consumer’s who enter the debt review system often face unimaginable discrimination by the judiciary, banks and even their own employers and real estate agents!!! However, once a consumer has obtained a debt re-arrangement order, no notice is required in The judicial system discriminates against terms of S88, thus the first time a consumer or his persons under debt review, because they see debt counsellor become aware of a ‘supposed’ debt review as the consumer’s ‘last chance’ default is when the Sheriff of the Court serves at rehabilitation. When a consumer is not in him a summons. More often then not, these the debt review system and he defaults on a terminations (that then result in a summons) car payment, the bank calls him up and they are incorrect or premature from the creditors arrange a double payment at the end of the side and there is a reasonable explanation for

any perceived default. Consumers who are under debt re-arrangement orders are not even given an opportunity to correct these mistakes and thus have to incur legal costs to defend the matter in court. S66(1) of the NCA speaks to the protection of consumer rights: “a credit provider must not, in response to a consumer exercising, asserting or seeking to uphold any right set out in this Act ….. a) discriminate directly or indirectly against the consumer, compared to the credit providers treatment of any other consumer who has not exercised, asserted or sought to uphold such right. b) penalize the consumer. c) alter or propose to alter the terms or conditions of a credit agreement with the consumer, to the detriment of the consumer; or d) take any action to accelerate, enforce, suspend or terminate a credit agreement with a consumer. So here’s the question: The judiciary has gone on record stating that no notice is required in terms of S88. How does the judiciary and the banks explain their treatment of consumers under S88(3) of the NCA? The banks have also discovered that Applications for Summary Judgments scare already anxious consumers into promising higher installments outside of the debt rearrangement orders and this works well because if the consumer successfully opposes an Application for Summary Judgment, he gets leave to defend and the only cost order that can be made is that the costs of the Summary

Judgment Application will be decided once the trial has been decided. The banks have no intention of going to trial so the consumer has to pay his attorneys and advocates. This amounts to thousands of Rands which the banks know they do not have. Being under debt review can also place a stigma on consumers seeking a means to responsibly manage their finances. Applying for a new job can be a nightmare, because uninformed potential employer’s who do credit checks see the person is under debt review and might view them as risky employees. Incorrectly thinking they are more likely to steal or that they will take more leave days to sort out their financial issues and ultimately that they will be less productive employees. Real estate agents are somewhat more circumspect in their discrimination against persons under debt review. Imagine the situation where a consumer loses his home and now needs to rent. Often estate agents will not rent a home to them because they also do credit checks and once they discover that a consumer is under ‘debt review’ the premises is suddenly no longer on the market. “Sorry”! This kind of discrimination reeks of the old South Africa. Unfair legal process? Can’t live were you want? Can’t get the job you are qualified for? Is this perhaps the new era of “banking apartheid” ?


DEATH & TAXES There are two certainties in life, as the common saying goes, Death and Taxes.

an m T A V I am

One of the forms of taxes many are obligated to register for is VAT. However, due to the current economic climate that is hovering over us, we may find ourselves in a position where we do not have enough physical hard cash to cover our VAT bill.

How does one apply for a VAT deferral? Again, the split applies: If you owe less than R50,000; you can call the SARS Call centre (0800 00 7277), and you can arrange the deferral while you are on the line with the call centre agent. If you owe more than R50,000; you will need to Is the any relief for such person (or companies) go into a SARS branch, and arrange with one who are unable to settle their VAT bill of the VAT consultants to grant you a deferral immediately as it becomes due? SARS has plan. provided for such cases, but be warned, it comes at a cost. Let’s explore this a bit. What does this cost? Quite simply, it is not cheap to defer payments. Who qualifies for the VAT deferral of payment? SARS will charge you a 10% penalty, as well as The answer is basically any person (both an interest amount of 8.5% pa pro-rata over Individuals and/or companies) who has your deferral payment. registered as a VAT vendor and has a VAT number. For example: I owe R65,000 in VAT that I would like to defer How does it work? over 6 months. How much will I end up paying? VAT: R65,000 There are 2 groups SARS splits this into: 10% penalty: R6,500 1. Those who owe more than R50,000 8.5% *R65,000*6/12 = R2,763 2. Those who owe less than R50,000 = R74,263 / 6 Months = R 12 377 per month for 6 months. If you owe more than R50,000, SARS will extend 2 options to you. Therefore at the end of the day, I will land up a. You can repay the debt over 3 months paying R9, 263 more than I would have had I b. You can repay the debt over 6 months. not chosen to defer. If you owe less than R50,000 then SARS will only grant you a 3 month deferral period.

Therefore, if you can, strive to pay your VAT bill on time, every time. It will save you a lot of money at the end of the day.

The DCM Group get a fresh new look As the Debt Counselling industry itself has gone thorough changes so to have those companies who offer debt review related services. With many companies coming and going over the years, consumers are looking for stable, long lasting brands that can meet their needs. In 2012 the DCM Group and its subsidiary brands have gone through a metamorphosis, the outcome of which is a fresh new look and feel. New branding accompanies this new perspective. While in the past DCM has offered services under a variety of brands it seems that DCM’s acquisition of several different brands resulted in an organisation that was presenting a myriad images and messages to the various target markets which it services. As a result, some consumers where not aware of the range of services which DCM could offer or were confused about who owned these brands. The new branding brings all these various brands under one recognisable parent company, namely DCM. The individual brands and logos have now been incorporated into the DCM Group of Companies with DCM Group as the lead brand. This means that DCM Consumer Assist, DCM Care Premier and DCM Corporate are now sub-brands; and that the NPDA is being the endorsement brand for the whole Group. When describing the ongoing changes in the industry and the performance of the various DCM brands Anton Viljoen CEO of the DCM Group says: “ We look forward to many more exciting times in the years ahead...the DCM Group will grow from strength to strength” DCM are moving forward and are now positioned for even greater growth and success.

MPHO THEKISO Dealing with large corporations can sometimes be frustrating. Putting a face to the department you are dealing with certainly helps build our confidence and a better relationship with them. This month Debtfree DIGI got the chance to speak to the head of one of SA’s largest Debt Review departments: Mpho Thekiso at FNB Debt Review.

When I first started working, I was employed as a Rural Sociologist in the Department of Rural Development within the Lesotho Government. I left Lesotho to pursue a career in consumer protection in South Africa. After five years I deviated from ‘consumerism’ and dedicated my time to advocacy against gender based violence.

We got to ask her a few questions:

Df: When did you get into the credit industry and debt review?

Df: Tell us a little about your work background?

I joined the National Credit Regulator as a Debt

Counselling Project Manager back in 2003. I was part of the team that piloted debt counselling in South Africa between 2003 and 2006, prior to the implementation of the National Credit Act in 2007.

counsellors come to visit our office and we have a round table discussion on debt review and related matters as well as address their issues of concern. Going forward these will be more structured and topical. We believe that face to face discussion is better than e-mails Df: Wow, that sure is something! So you were and telephone discussions. there right from the beginning. You don’t work for the NCR any longer though... Df: What lies ahead for FNB Debt Review and the industry as a whole? True, I left the NCR at the end of January 2010 to become part of the Debt Review Centre at As the industry mellows, in my opinion, there First National Bank in February the same year. should be specialization in counselling in I am still in the employ of FNB as Head of Debt various areas. For example, there should be Review Centre. debt counsellors specializing in mortgage counselling and others in counselling for the I now have a perspective of both worlds, as self-employed consumers, etc. Currently the a consumer advocate and a credit provider. I self-employed are not treated differently from have realized that credit providers and debt the salaried consumers, the same debt review counsellors are sadly not on the same page formula is applied to both. The reality is that on a number of issues, especially relating to at credit granting stage, the criteria applied to the macro economics of debt review. This is assess their application is different. Therefore the biggest challenge. The second biggest the debt review formula must also be challenge is communication. We are not different, after all debt is the flip side of credit. communicating as much as we should. We Mortgage-stressed consumers on the other need to bridge that gap. hand need specialized intensive care. They need specialized debt counsellors. I foresee an improved cooperation and collaboration Df: What’s happening @ FNB debt review at the between debt counsellors and credit providers. moment? We have already overcome so many obstacles. Our number one priority is to provide awesome service to Debt Counsellors and our customers from the beginning of the process to the end. This is not negotiable. We want to get closer to debt counsellors than ever before, to get to understand each other better and have a common goal – to bring back the culture of repayments and bring relief to debt stressed consumers. We have Open Days where debt

From FNB, we are planning to extend our services to debt counsellors and consumers to add a human touch to the current processes and to live by our motto “How can we help you?”

PO Box 102405 Moreleta Plaza, 0167 South Africa Tel: 082 515 1496 Fax: 086 558 2311 a Email:

24 July 2012 Dear Debt Counsellor 0 supporters. Like you, in South Africa with 115,00 red iste reg ly du , ion sat ani We are a non-profit org th the banks. has reached boiling point wi ers mb Me r ou of els lev the tolerance Bank, Nedbank, d an action against Standard file has nce lia Al hts Rig ic 012 in the As such, The New Econom under case number 27478/2 nk Ba ve ser Re an ric Af uth and the So First National Bank, ABSA entation can be found at esburg. Details and docum ann Joh , urt Co gh Hi ng ute South Ga we will be nstitution where, inter alia, Co the of 2 17 on cti Se of ught in terms The aforesaid action is bro ty of three trade legality and constitutionali the on n tio ina erm det ’s urt seeking the Honourable Co king: cornerstone of modern ban methodologies that form the system; 1) The ‘fractional reserve’ of securitisation; 2) The widespread practice 3) Seignorage a Debt Counsellors d with the establishment of cee pro to d ide dec e hav we As per our previous letter, ependent union is will be a completely ind Th . RA wE Ne the of ner the ban Union (DCU) that fits under wever, if we unite and ks are formidable force. Ho ban e Th rs. llo nse cou t deb nsparency for debt counsellors run by our changes of bringing tra se rea inc y ntl ica nif sig ll wi engths, it leverage off each other’s str to banking.

To join the DCU, please visit the link below. We look forward to creating a united force!

Kind regards,



NEED TO NOT SPEED If you are a car owner you no doubt see them as a mixed blessing. True, you have to cough up big bucks on services and tyres to keep the thing on the road but it sure is convenient and like many others it probably is helping you earn money as well. Head down to the petrol station and you can find yourself staring at the total figure digits on the pump spinning as fast as your head. Ouch!

Maybe once upon a time you had to do this but not with the cars on the market today. Give the engine a moment or two and then head off.

TIP THREE: Try to drive at an even pace. Avoid speeding up and then slowing down repeatedly. To do so, keep an eye on the traffic up ahead and anticipate what is going to happen. If you can get into the top gear and cruise, do so. When driving in town try not to We look at a few tips to save you a few bucks race from traffic light to traffic light. You can when on the road. normally only go as fast as the person in front of you anyway. You are not the star of “need for TIP ONE: Don’t speed. If you speed you will get speed - drag racer”. caught. If you get caught you will have to pay fines that you can little afford. If you don’t pay Tip Four: Stay off your cell phone. When talking your fines...well, lets say you don’t want to do on your phone you are distracted, which can that or the next time you are pulled over you lead to you speeding (see point one) or driving might be walking home. Driving faster increases at an uneven pace (see point three). It can also the wind resistance on your vehicle and at lead to accidents. Do you have enough saved higher speeds it requires higher expenditure up to cover the cost of an accident? What if you of fuel to cover distances. Most fuel economy were to get hurt and could not work for a few tests are conducted at low speeds. So when the months? What if you hurt someone? sales person told you your car would get 15 km to the litre they meant driving at a measured If you have money saving tips you would pace. like to share with others email us on: tips@ TIP TWO: after starting up your engine there is no need to let the car idle for a long time.

SERVICE DIRE DEBT COUNSELLING AA Debt Counselling Centre Anthea Johannes NCRDC531 Tel: +27 (0) 21 982 0522 Cell: +27 (0) 84 402 7032 Alan Watts NCRDC 962 NCR registered Debt Counsellor Tel: 084 4448439 Fax: 086 6501954 Central SA Debt Counsellors 082 950 7806 Fax: 086 563 1621 Consumer Assist Johann Vermeulen Tel: 0861 628 628 Credit Matters 021 431 9100 CS Debt Counselling Bernidene Smith NCRDC 764 057 352 4115/352 5000 Welkom - Free state Darran Manikam NCRDC704 Debtbusters 0861 663 328 (NO DEBT) Debt Budget Tel: 021 824 8885 Debt Solve Debt Counsellors Office: 033 397 0945

DEBTINC NCRDC’s 1071, 1188, 1189. Tel: (022) 713-2021 Fax: (022) 713-2028 Share Call: 0861 20 21 20 E-mail: Website: SMS: HELP to 35075

Debt Rescue Neil Roets NCR DC 474 Cell: 083 644 7406 Tel: 0861 800 009 Fax: 086 523 0617 E-mail:

DebtSafe 0861 100 999 Debt Serious We are serious about debt Vida Scheepers NCRDC1792 Po box 394, Garsfontein, Pretoria 0042 Fax no: 086 553 9403 Debt Rehab Colleen Van Wyk(BCom, LLB) Debt Counsellor NCRDC2619 Tel: 083 290 0848 Tel: 011 740 7374 Fax: 086 716 9694 Website: Debt eezy Your Debt Solution made Easy Ashley Carstens NCRDC858 Tel: 021 839 2809 Fax: 083 512 4160 / 086 665 9125 Email: Website:

Debt Management & Counseling Services “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” - Nelson Mandela Derry Burge NCRDC108 140 Irene Avenue, La Concorde, Somerset West, 7130 Tel: 021 855 5997 Cell: 074 177 5375 Fax: 021 855 1195 or 0865413200 E-mail: Durban Debt Counselling Services Suite 112, 1st floor Union Club Building 353 Sm ith Street Durban, 4001 Tel: 031 301-7893 Fax: 031 301-5809

ECTORY Debt Counselling South Africa Cape Town Branch Tel: 021 919 66 94 Rod De Witt NCRDC831 Visit: Fincorp debt Counsellors cc Cecilia Zwarts Holistic Debt Counsellors Helpdesk Debt Counsellors Allan Hoffman Tel: 0861 000 754 Help-U-Debt (Vaal Triangle) Wanine Tel: 082 445 3967 Help-U-Debt (Potchefstroom) Madra 083 390 3275 Help-U-Debt (Parys) Marilouise 082 920 6249 Help-U-Debt (Vanderbijlpark) Herma 083 320 8303 Incentive Debt Counselling “Paving the way to a Debt Free Tommorrow” Darran Manikam NCRDC704 Tel: (031) 409 9379 Fax: (031) 409 1327 Cell: 0845898286 Branches: Phoenix and Shallcross Indigo debt counsellors CC Tel: 087 808 9734

Fax: 086 580 8675 MG Consulting Strand - Helderberg Area Telkom : 021 853 4537 Mobile Phone: 082 450 7459 Fax Number: 0866 220 690 E-Mail: info@mgconsulting NDA Debt Counsellors Your Trusted Debt Counsellors Gary Williams (NCRDC 143) Tel: 034 315 3880 Fax: 086 612 4112 Rihanyo Debt Counselling (012) 804 50 57 Think Green Debt Counselling Sandi Pauw Tel : 012 991 6638 Cell : 082 460 7800 Fax : 086 219 2615 U-Win Debt Counsellors Coreli Roos - NCR DC 509 Aliwal North, Burgersdorp, Bethulie, GariepDam, Smithfield, Springfontein Cell:079 626 66241 Zuné Coetzer Debt Counsellors NCRDC 1599 24 van der Stel Street, Dan Pienaar Bloemfontein Tel: 051-4364515 Fax: 086 5870 845 Email:

SERVICE DIRE DEBT RESTRUCTURING SERVICES BORDER REGION: DRS BEACON BAY Johan Pretorius Cell: 082 324 4038 Office: 043 748 1139 DRS BUFFALO CITY Herman Marias Cell: 082 378 3743 Office: 043 7210652 DRS KING WILLIAMS TOWN Herman Marais Cell: 082 378 3743 Email: DRS CRADOCK Office: 043 721 0652 DRS QUEENSTOWN Herman Marais Cell: 082 378 3743 Email:

DRS BOND CHOICE Andrea Atkinson Office: 041 393 7000 Email: DRS CENTRAL EXPRESS Derryn Fish Office: 041 373 9693586 2020 Email: DRS DESPATCH Isabe Landman Cell: 072 337 3328 Office: 041 933 1189 Email: DRS HUMANSDORP Morne Steyn Cell: 083 298 8182 Office: 042 291 0135 Email: DRS NKONKOBE (Fort Beaufort) Bernadine von der Decken Cell: 083 2859289 Office: 046 645 1898 Email:

DRS MTHATHA Herman Marais Cell: 082 378 3743 Email:

DRS KIRKWOOD Keith Le Roux Cell: 073 207 1675 Office: 041 451 0474 Email:


DRS PORT ELIZABETH Derryn Fish Cell: 084 515 6135 Office: 041 453 8961 Email:

DRS ALBANY Office: 041 373 9693 Email: DRS ALGOA Marius Weyers Cell: 083 497 3219 Email:

DRS SIDWELL EXPRESS Keith Le Roux Cell: 073 207 1675 Office: 041 451 0474 Email:

DRS SOMMERSET EAST Luther De Bruyn Cell: 082 568 2970 Office: 042 243 1107 Email: DRS UTENHAGE Lynn Lindoor Cell: 083 7174 183 Email: FREESTATE: DRS GOLDFIELDS (Welkom) Irvin Billy (Derryn Fish) Cell: 072 114 4427 Office: 081 319 0083 Email: DRS MANGAUNG Amanda Johnson Office: 041 373 9693 Email: DRS FOREISTATA EXPRESS (Bloemfontein) Derryn Fish Office: 041 373 9693 Email: DRS SOUTH FREESTATE Nelmarie De lange Cell: 079 236 3615 Office: 053 591 0734 Email: GARDEN ROUTE: DRS DE AAR Veronique Louw (Derryn Fish) Cell: 076 382 2020 Office: 053 631 1189

ECTORY Email: DRS GEORGE Francois Van Zyl Cell: 079 522 1930 Office: 044 874 2820 Email: DRS EDEN (Hartenbos) Bruno Mertsch Tel: 042 291 1083/4 Email: GAUTENG: DRS CENTURION EXPRESS Amanda Johnon Office: 041 373 9693 Email: DRS LYNNWOOD Junique Julius Office: 012 807 4339 Email: DRS PRETORIA EXPRESS Ben Vermeulen Cell: 082 442 8654 Office: 012 331 2145 Email: DRS PRETORIA NOORD Office: 041 373 9693 Email: DRS ROODEPOORT EXPRESS Derryn Fish Office: 041 373 9693 Email: DRS RUSTENBURG Amanda Johnson Office: 041 373 9693 Email:



DRS GREYVILLE Vyas Juggernath Cell: 083 206 0300 Office: 031 309 8716 Email:

DRS BELLVILLE Patricia Bekker Office: 021 948 8523 / 4 Email:

DRS KOKSTAD Melanie Louwrens Cell: 083 269 0424 Office: 039 727 1430 Email: DRS MORNINGSIDE DURBAN Erica Mtshali (Amanda Johnson) Cell: 076 578 8660 Office: 031 301 5990 email DRS PHOENIX Vyas Juggernath Cell: 083 206 0300 Office: 031 309 8716 Email: DRS PIETERMARITZBURG Sanele Zulu Cell: 083 543 3487 Office: 033 394 8319 Email:

DRS DIAMOND Clive Palmer Office: 021 421 8563 Email: DRS TYGERBERG Craig Lakey Cell: 082 627 0957 Office: 021 945 4062 Email: DRS WEST COAST Marius Coetzee Cell: 082 978 4407 Office: 022 713 3766 Email DRS SALDANHA Marius Coetzee Office: 022 713 3766 Email: DRS SOLUTIONS Christelle de Villiers Cell: 084 586 5600 Email:

SERVICE DIRE SUPPORT SERVICES Staff Line Ndizani Executive Recruitment Cell no: 083 3028163 Direct Line: (011) 468 - 2150 E- Mail:

Information resources & services Designtimes South Africa’s creative resource TRAINING Compuscan Academy 0861 51 41 31 You & Your Money Western Cape: NCR Debt Counsellor Training: For a Cutting Edge Course with practical input contact: You & Your Money Dawn Jackson net Cell: 072 1769789 (021) 761 3287 FINANCIAL ABSA Customer Debt Repair Line 0861 005 901

Credit Ombudsman 0861 662837 Experian 011 799-3400 Eric Streso Financial Planner B Juris LL B CFP MBA Tel: 0833273358 Fax: 086 612 7912 Fair Debt 0829019788 or 012-3772558 PACFIN Financial Solutions Head Office Tel: +27 11 9757445 Fax: 0865368783 36 Van Riebeeck road Kempton Park 1619 Monte Carlo Building No 8 Voortrekkerstreet Kempton Park 1619 Kempton Park Contact: Reyno Coetzee Tel: +27 11 3945363 Fax: 0866048002 Cell: +27 73 3690884 Boksburg / Germiston Contact: Armand Posthumus Tel: +27 11 8921911 Fax: 0865620378 Nelspruit Contact: Ann Baker Tel: +27 13 7415559 Fax: 0880 1374 15559 Cell: +27 82 9024236

Springs Contact: Wynand Mclachlan Tel: +27 11 8113728 Fax: +27 11 8113728 Cell: +27 83 2754014/5 Gooseberry Business Advisory Tel: 012 644 0589 Nedbank Debt Rehabilitation & Recoveries Services 0860 109 279 STD Bank Debt review Helpline Telephone: 0861 111 402 TransUnion 0861 482 482 Thinkmoney Financial comparison website Contact: Gareth Mountain Tel: 079 0996 798 WIZARD Vereeniging Making Mortgage Magic Wanine Smit Tel:+27 16 454 1132 Fax:+27 86 686 3678 Cell:+27 82 445 3967 FINANCIAL PLANNING Eric Streso Financial Planner B Juris LL B CFP MBA Tel: 0833273358 Fax: 086 612 7912


Agiliti CC Colleen Van Wyk(BCom, LLB) Tel: 083 290 0848 Tel: 011 740 7374 Fax: 086 716 9694 Website:

Karen van Staden Tel: 012 998 9117 / 012 993 2132 CREDIT BUREAUS Fax: 086 721 6467 / 086 662 1153 IsEmail: it to expand your Debt Counselling Compuscan practice? 0861 514 131 Do you need specialist Attorneys with a national footprint?

Scheepers Attorneys

Computer Profile Bureau Experian Business- 0861 63 60 70 Consumer- 0861 10 5665

Judge Flemming will unpack the NCA as only he can, Mike Schussler will unpack the economy as only he can, nobody is better equipped than Frans Haupt to inform Debt Counsellors about proposed changes to the NCA , Magauta Mphahlele will unpack VDMS, the NDMA will showcase the first deliverable of the Switch and Paul Slot will tie everything together towards the end.

Do you need expert advice on how to protect Gerhard Scheepers 0861 28 7328 your practice and your clients? Are you informed about recent statutory and legal developments within the industry?

LUCID Attorneys Tel: 011 880 1100 Fax: 011 880 1101 Email: Attorneys servicing individual needs Micro Lenders Credit Bureau 0861 28 7328 Pretoria: +27(0)12 998 9117 Nelspruit: +27 (0)13 752 7084 Ludick Attorneys TransUnion Prinsloo & Associates 0861 886 466 Attorneys and conveyancers Nanika Prinsloo Farm Bergamot, Paarl 7620 XDS P O Box 6199, Paarl 7620 0860 937 000 14 Laing Street, Barrydale 6750 Cell: 072-8558-106 Fax: 086-623-5986 EVENTS DCASA CONFERNCE RM Brown and Associates 22 August 601 Pier House, The theme of the DCASA 13 -17 Heerengracht, Conference is tomorrow-today Cape Town and Debt Counsellors who want to Docex 138 Cape Town understand the impact of the future t: 021 431 9127, f: 021 425 0875 on their business can expect to e: leave the Conference well informed.

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Debtfree DIGI Aug 2012 theDCI Special Edition  

The August 2012 theDCI Special Edition issue of Debtfree DIGI magazine. This issue contains: Are debt review consumers discriminated against...

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