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MEC welcomes landmark garnishee order ruling

A judge ruled that garnishee orders against a group of Stellenbosch low-income earners was unlawful.

FILE: The Western Cape High Court. Picture: Chanel September/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde has welcomed a landmark ruling on garnishee orders, saying irresponsible lenders must be brought to book.

Western Cape High Court judge Siraj Desai yesterday declared emoluments attachment orders (EAOs) against a group of Stellenbosch low-income earners unlawful.

Some of them had half their salaries docked and others were charged massive interest by microlenders.

Responding to the judgment, Winde said loan sharks charge exorbitant interest rates that often take a lifetime to repay.

He added that it was important for people to manage their money carefully.

Desai said the applicants were a group of low-income earners living in Stellenbosch, supporting themselves and their families on salaries of between R1,200 and R8,000 per month.

They include farmworkers, cleaners, and security guards.

Desai said a substantial reduction of their salaries had the potential to reduce human dignity.

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