The concept of establishing an association of credit retailers and credit bureaus was formed at an inaugural meeting in Edgardale, Johannesburg, in January 1989. This followed the first get-together of credit providers two months earlier.
The Consumer Credit Association (CCA) was established with 12 founder members. Edgars, Sales House, Truworths, Boymans, Foschini, Amrel, OK Bazaars, Joshua Doore, Clobea/Furnbea, Rusfurn Group, Information Trust Corp (now TransUnion) and Kreditinform (now part of Experian).
A steering committee was elected at the inaugural general meeting on 18 April 1989 in Cape Town. The committee was tasked with preparing the Association to begin operating formally and to focus on aspects such appointing a director, the funding of the Association, drawing up a constitution and communicating with all interested parties.
Six retailers were chosen as members of the first Management Committee: Amrel, OK Bazaars, Prefcor, Sales House, Truworths and Edgars. Kredit Inform and Information Trust Corp (ITC) were the two credit bureaus involved.
In the first year R150 000 was budgeted to pay the director and cover all other expenses for the Association’s establishment and operations. The first full membership fees were R9 000 a year.
The CCA’s objectives included:
The first Annual General Meeting was held about a year later, on Tuesday, 3 April 1990, at the Edgars’ head office. The draft constitution was submitted and adopted at the meeting. George Coppin was appointed as the first Director of the CCA on a three-day-a-week basis.
Three categories of membership were established:
Available to credit providers accepted by the Management Committee.
Available to credit information bureaus that processed full members’ consumer credit information and were accepted by the Management Committee.
Available to other operators in the consumer credit granting or related fields, and to persons/bodies from businesses, professions or associations with a vital interest in the objectives and activities of the CCA.
In 2007 the CCA changed its name to the Credit Providers Association (CPA).
In 2009 the CPA moved to Bryanston to accommodate a growing staff complement, which had grown to seven. In the same year the CPA was appointed as secretariat and database manager of the National Loans Register (NLR) in support of the NLR Manco. Our role was to manage the NLR database in the same way as that of the CPA database.
In 2010 the MFSA became the first Group Member of the CPA, which defined by our constitution at the time: “is an entity representing a minimum of 200 members, where individually these members would qualify as Full Members and would make a valuable contribution to data volumes, but where admitting individual members of such a group would be impractical due to the number of individual members concerned”.
2012 saw the commencement of Project Evolution. This on-going project is facilitating the integration of the NLR database with the CPA database to ensure one view of the consumer as well as what is considered to be the world’s first 48-hour reporting to a credit bureau for registrations of new credit agreements and the closure of accounts or the repayment of loans in full.
The CPA once again moved to Central Park, Midrand in 2013 to accommodate the growing staff complement and to premises with better meeting facilities for member engagements.
Draft National Credit Amendment Act (NCAA) regulations were published in April 2014 as well as the credit amnesty, which involved the removal of adverse and paid-up judgments. Tight deadlines saw intense engagement with our Associate and Full Data Contributing Members for many weeks to successfully implement changes and remove the affected data.
The CPA reached a milestone in 2014 when it turned 25. From the humble beginnings in 1989 with manual processes and two staff members, the CPA now has six permanent staff and six consultants who manage the submission of more than 50-million payment profile records monthly.
The government published the NCAA as well as regulations in March 2015.
In April 2015 the CPA adopted a new name to cater for the ever-changing environment from sharing only consumer credit information between credit providers to the sharing of consumer credit and risk information between credit providers, insurance companies, subscription companies, service providers and telecom companies.
The CPA is now known as the South African Credit & Risk Reporting Association or simply SACRRA.
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