Court's 'garnishee orders' ruling welcomed

08 July 2015 - 19:20 By Rdm News Wire

Western Cape economic opportunity MEC Alan Winde on Wednesday welcomed the Western Cape High Court’s ruling declaring “garnishee orders” against farm workers unlawful.

The application was brought by the University of Stellenbosch Legal Aid Clinic and 15 residents against a range of lenders.

At the core of the court proceedings was to assess whether it is constitutional for emolument attachment orders to be issued‚ without any judicial oversight‚ to clear a judgment debt.

“The Western Cape High Court has found these garnishee orders to be unlawful and invalid‚” Winde said.

He said that according to reports as much as 80% of some of the applicant’s salaries were being docked in attachment orders.

“We condemn this exploitation of farm workers.

“Irresponsible lenders who take advantage of residents need to be brought to book. Loan sharks charge exorbitant interest rates that often chain residents to a lifetime of loan repayments.

“Especially in these tough economic times‚ debt becomes more and more expensive and I want to encourage residents to avoid the debt trap.”