Visually impaired to receive training on National Credit Act

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pretoria - The National Credit Regulator (NCR) is to hold a programme to train visually impaired people to understand the importance of the National Credit Act (NCA).

The regulator will fund the joint Train the Trainer Programme led by the South African National Council for the Blind (SANCB).

The first session of the programme, which will include 20 visually impaired people, will be held in Pretoria on 25 and 26 March.

The second phase of the programme will be about training identified visually impaired people into becoming debt counsellors in order to enable them to service their constituencies and the general public. This will take place on 30 and 31 March.

The training will focus on the Act and the roles and responsibilities of the regulator, a body which was formed to regulate the Act.

The NCR has undertaken the responsibility of managing the implementation of the first phase of the project.

The SANCB will also make available their training facilities and equipment to allow for an effective and efficient training environment.

The NCR and the SANCB will review the implementation of the first phase upon completion.

Peter Setou, Senior Manager: Education and Strategy at the NCR said it is envisaged that through this project both the NCR and the SANCB will work towards educating consumers on the Credit Act.

According to Mr Setou, this is the first project for visually impaired people in South Africa that is tailor made for personal finance management and debt counselling services.

"We hope that through this project Blind people will have a better understanding of the NCA, NCR, managing their personal finances and debt counselling.

He further said the NCR has been tasked with the development of an accessible credit market, including accessibility to the NCA and other services offered.

Training of debt counsellors and facilitators from and for the visually impaired sector would enhance this accessibility considerably.

Chris Budeli of SANCB commended the NCR for the initiative of making the NCA accessible to the visually impaired South Africans.

"This knowledge couldn't have come at a better time", he said.

The Act which was signed into law on 15 March 2006 is aimed at regulating the credit granting industry, curbing reckless lending and ensuring that consumers are protected from harmful business practices by lenders.

Transactions that fall under the Act include loans and other credit from banks, including mortgages, overdrafts, credit cards, vehicle finance and any other personal finance; furniture finance, clothing accounts any other type of credit from retailers; micro-loans and pawn transactions and any other type of credit or loan provided to a consumer.