The Debt Counselling Association of South Africa was established shortly after the promulgation of The National Credit Act in 2007. Because the act made provision for consumers to seek out the help of a qualified debt counsellor in times of over-indebtedness, the DCASA was created as the key body of debt collectors in the country. The DCASA seeks to inform members when the law relating to debt counselling changes, as well as keeping them updated on new debt counselling methods and theories.
The DCASA is a completely independent organisation that is not politically affiliated – instead it exists to enforce ethical debt counselling. This means that if a debt counsellor associated with the DCASA does not conform to the code of conduct, they step in and set them right.
If the DCASA notices unfair credit practices they will notify the NCR. Therefore they assist the NCR in regulating the credit industry. Because of this they are in constant communication with other debt regulators and help keep the industry fair and balanced. However they are solely interested in furthering the rights of their members.
The DCASA is also invested in training and education of debt counsellors and has established a mentorship programme to do so. It puts established debt counsellors in contact with new debt counsellors and allows them to trade industry knowledge. This means that debt counsellors are passing on knowledge to each other, thus ensuring a well-trained and expert league of debt counsellors.
The creation of a stronger debt counselling industry with competent practitioners remains the key goal of the DCASA, and this means that debt counsellors that are registered with the DCASA can only benefit from it.
Article written by: Andrea van Tonder 06-2013