Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

Cape Town - South Africans with paid-up default judgments against their names at credit bureaux are set to have their adverse records cleared in the next few months, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies announced on Thursday.

Regulations which would ensure the removal of adverse consumer credit information and information relating to paid-up judgments were published in the Government Gazette this week.

“The notice comes into force on the first of April, meaning that information cannot be used and this information can't be used from that date, and then the credit bureaux have got two months thereafter to clear up their systems,” Davies told journalists at Parliament.

The regulations did not mean people who did not pay their debts would be automatically cleared.

“It says that a paid-up judgement... it's out, it's off. You don't have to go to court. You don't have to do all those other things you did before...” Davies said.

“If they've got terminology applying to you saying you're a slower payer or irregular payer or something like that, that must also be removed.”

But, the credit profiles of South Africans would still show on the system.

The profiles included information on how many credit agreements people had and how they were making payments against those loans or accounts.

“It's a once-off exercise, so if thereafter you incur a judgment, it doesn't mean you're off forever, you go back on the system,” Davies explained.

Credit providers would still be able to assess risk by looking at one's profile.

The regulations were published ahead of the expected enactment of the National Credit Amendment Bill - which was still before Parliament.

“When the bill gets enacted, then on a regular basis, paid-up judgments... you get off.”

Those with paid-up judgements would not have to approach a court and go through various other processes before the information was removed from their credit profiles.

It emerged during Thursday's media briefing that half of the 21 million credit-active South Africans had credit impairments. - Sapa