The National Assembly (NA) during its plenary sitting today passed the National Credit Amendment Bill.
The Bill aims to provide for capped debt intervention to promote a change in the borrowing and spending habits of an over-indebted South African society. The Bill will provide relief to over-indebted South Africans who have no other effective or efficient options to extricate themselves from over-indebtedness.
The Bill further provides for mandatory credit life insurance on all credit agreements for longer than six months but no more than R50 000 in value to prevent lower income groups from falling into over-indebtedness due to changes in their financial circumstances.
The Bill also aims to further limit the wide-spread abuse of consumers by unscrupulous lenders and to allow for simpler and more rigorous enforcement of the Act by, amongst others, providing for criminal prosecution of persons who contravene the Act. The Bill will be submitted to the National Council of Provinces for consideration and concurrence.
Also today, the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) passed the Protection and Promotion of Indigenous Knowledge Bill. The Bill provides for, amongst others, the establishment and functions of the National Indigenous Knowledge Systems Office, and management of the rights of indigenous communities.
The Bill further provides for the establishment and functions of the Advisory Panel on indigenous knowledge, access and conditions of access to the knowledge of indigenous communities. Furthermore, the bill calls for the establishment of a register of indigenous knowledge, accreditation of assessors and certification of indigenous knowledge practitioners, as well as facilitation and coordination of indigenous knowledge-based innovations.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.