“The removal of adverse consumer credit information regulations (credit amnesty) and the Icasa-spearheaded review of regulations governing mobile termination rates are part of the good story and commitment of the ANC and its government to create an environment that stimulates economic growth and meaningful economic participation for all,” African National Congress spokesman Jackson Mthembu said. The credit amnesty came into effect on Tuesday. It would involve the removal of adverse credit information, removal of information relating to paid-up judgments, and the removal of details relating to disputes lodged by consumers regarding listings on their credit records.
“This decisive step to provide credit amnesty to our people further intends to assist consumers negatively impacted by economic recession and we expect that its implementation will, among others, remove barriers to employment and broaden access to credit for credit seekers,” said Mthembu. The regulations would address the blacklisting of millions of consumers who had paid their debts but were still prevented by listings in credit bureaux from gaining access to credit, accommodation and even jobs. Commenting on the court’s ruling on new termination rates, Mthembu said it was the legitimate expectation of all South Africans that the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) should regulate call rates in the public interest.
The High Court in Johannesburg on Monday declared new call termination rates proposed by Icasa to be invalid and unlawful. It gave Icasa six months to amend its regulations. MTN and Vodacom took the authority to court to stop it from implementing the regulations on mobile termination rates. These are the rates operators pay one another for calls to other networks. “We trust that during the six months mandated by the court for Icasa to develop new regulations, all stakeholders will co-operate to reach agreement on acceptable regulations and price levels which are in the public interest and sustainable,” said Mthembu. - Sapa