Perceptions of the National Credit Act : a case study of Woolworths Hillcrest.
The National Credit Act (NCA) was enacted to replace the previous credit regulations that failed to address the needs of the consumer credit market. The credit market in South Africa was in disarray due the country being divided into two; the richer whites and the poorer blacks. The study seeks to establish how the NCA is viewed by consumers. The study considers whether the NCA is viewed as beneficial by consumers and credit providers, whether there is sufficient protection for consumers and whether consumers have an understanding of the NCA. The research methodology used was the qualitative research approach as it allows respondents to share their attitudes and experiences on the topic. Purposive sampling was utilized because respondents with knowledge on the topic were interviewed. The data collection was that of primary data in the form of semi-structured interviews because it affords respondents a great deal of flexibility in their responses as they are not confined to the questions and are encouraged to provide extra information they may have. Eight in-depth, face-to-face interviews were conducted. Some salient findings of the study indicated that the NCA provides consumers with protection by introducing procedures that must be followed by credit providers prior to granting credit. These procedures assess whether consumers are able to afford to repay their debt by considering their income, expenses and credit history. There appeared to be some division as to whether or not consumers understand the purpose to the NCA. The NCA was also viewed as beneficial due to all the sections that afforded consumers protection from the uneven bargaining power of credit providers. The main recommendations of the study were that a greater need for awareness or training of staff is required to spread knowledge and information, intervention programmes and responsible advertising.