11 months ago

Debtfree Magazine January 2018

SA's Free Debt Counselling & Debt Review Industry Magazine. We discuss Bitcoin, Steinhoff, amending the National Credit Act and more in this issue.


NATIONAL CREDIT ACT AMENDMENTS BILL IT’S LOOKING ‘ROFF’ FOR STEINHOFF The Portfolio Committee on Trade & Industry has drafted a new Bill to amend the National Credit Act. The bill introduces a type of debt relief for very specific groups of people, and those who the Minister of Trade and Industry may identify from time to time in hard hit industries or areas. The Bill also introduces some changes in regard to debt review. Public hearings (at the end of January and start of February) and written submissions of comments have been arranged by the Committee, in an effort to engage with the industry and public. [more in this issue] Retail Empire Steinhoff has made brands such as Pep, Ackermans and Tekkie Town household names. Until recently, Steinhoff used to be a top 10 share on the JSE, then growing allegations of financial irregularities resurfaced, their CEO quit suddenly and the media began to warn of danger to investors. Steinhoff shares quickly dropped by R194 Billion or around 84%, throwing the market into disarray and hitting many people’s investments hard. It may have cost the Public Service Pension Fund as much as R12.5 Billion. As a result, the Public Servants Association (PSA) now want regulators to take criminal

action against former Steinhoff CEO, Markus Jooste after he “jumped ship” just before the company hit troubled waters. They even initiated legal action along with the PIC to try to recover a joint R17 Billion. Even though Steinhoff came up with an amazing R13.1 Billion over a single weekend to shore up loses and try build some market confidence, there is no light at the end of the tunnel as investigations are underway in both Europe and South Africa. The company’s former bosses have also been trying to desperately gather as much cash as they can, as fast as they can. Christo Wiese (who resigned in December) sold shares in Shoprite for about R4.2 Billion, as well as Aspen Pharmacare Holdings. Markus Jooste has sold shares, auctioned off race horses and is trying to sell one of his many local properties in the Cape (for around R15 Million). Efforts are underway by the company to refinance loans and borrow even more funds to try right the ship.

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