Some of South Africa’s biggest retailers recently won a court case against the National Credit Act (NCA). The outcome?  Consumers will no longer have to provide proof of income when applying for credit.

For longest time, buying goods on credit was contingent on consumers proving that they earn enough money monthly to repay the instalments. However, many people and businesses thought there was an element of discrimination.

“The previous law was discriminatory in many ways because it excluded potential consumers solely based on the fact that they have ‘non-traditional’ means of income.  This applies to freelancers, self-employed people and informal traders,” says Adv. Jackie Nagtegaal, LAW FOR ALL’s Managing Director.

Of course, most of the other documentation, like proof of identity, is still applicable, but retailers will now be able to exercise more of their own discretion when it comes to assessing consumers’ credit applications.

Much like the controversial club fee ruling, this has been hailed as a victory for consumer rights in South Africa.

“However, we have to remember that South Africa is one of the most indebted countries in the world, and making it easier for people to apply for credit might increase the amount of debt South Africans have to pay off,” warns Nagtegaal.