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South African Employers Urged To Recommend Professional Debt Mediation

Thursday, September, 29, 2011

Professional debt mediation is a powerful strategy for helping individuals and businesses alike deal with mortgage or other debt problems that have grown out of hand.  Now, the National Debt Mediation Association of South Africa is formally recommending the process to employers throughout the country, urging them to take on a more proactive role in helping their employees to avoid bankruptcy due to high levels of debt.


Professional Debt Mediation to Benefit the Workplace


There is more than altruism at work here.  The NDMA correctly points out that when employees are under a great deal of stress, they become less productive workers.  Financial stress is one of the most severe kinds that exist, second only to issues such as a death in the family or the likelihood of marital breakdown.  Currently, almost nine million people in South Africa are classified as "impaired" by the Credit Bureau Monitor, a status that indicates unsustainable levels of debt.


According to Magauta Mphahlele, the CEO of NDMA, “Having impaired records means that consumers are in arrears, have judgments or administration orders against their names, or they have an adverse listing.  .  .  High levels of financial stress could be one of the factors that contribute to a decrease in productivity levels and an increase in instances of white collar crime as employees try to find means to increase their income to meet their debt obligations.”


Although the suggested mediation process would involve workers, it would not be considered labor mediation.