Reflections on recent developments regarding wage garnishment in South Africa
by Hermie Coetzee; Charlotte Van Sittert
International Journal of Private Law (IJPL), Vol. 9, No. 1/2, 2018

Abstract: A wage garnishment order is an effective and widely used method to collect judgment debts where the debtor is employed in the formal sector. However, procedures whereby the orders are obtained should be carefully drafted to curb possible abuses. In South Africa, the circumstances under which such orders could be obtained led to abuse of the process in practice, with sometimes tragic consequences. Fortunately, the South African Apex Court confirmed the unconstitutionality of the aspects of the procedure that led to abuse of the process. Also, the Department of Justice and Correctional Services introduced an act, which mainly seeks to amend the procedure to address abuses in the debt recovery system. This contribution reflects on these developments against the backdrop of the present socioeconomic circumstances in South Africa. Some comparative research was done which is also considered. The ultimate aim of the contribution is to determine whether South Africa has adequately transformed its wage garnishment landscape to curb abuse.

Online publication date: Tue, 15-Jan-2019

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