Credit regulator probes micro-lenders

The National Credit Regulator has intensified its investigation into micro-lenders in farming communities.

A suspected loan shark was arrested for retaining several pensioners' bank cards, IDs and pension payout cards. Picture: Giovanna Gerbi/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The National Credit Regulator (NCR) on Friday said it was expanded its investigation into unscrupulous micro-lenders to farming communities in the Western Cape.

The organisation is cracking down on lenders who are targeting vulnerable communities in mining areas in several parts of the country and farming districts in the Cape.

The probe was instituted after it emerged credit providers were taking advantage of striking miners in the Marikana area in the North West

The regulator's CEO Nomsa Motshegare said authorities have now extended their investigations.

"We then went to wine farms in the Western Cape, early in December, where we visited 19 credit providers. We managed to get some of the micro-lenders arrested because they were keeping consumers' bank cards."

Earlier in December, a Parow woman was arrested in possession of pensioners' bank cards, identity documents and payout cards.

The woman allegedly charged pensioners exorbitant interest rates.

Meanwhile, authorities have urged consumers not to go over board with their spending during the festive season.