History of Consumer Assist
Consumer Assist was launched in October 2007 as a direct response to the National Credit Act which came into effect in mid-2007.
The National Credit Act was inspired legislation which sought to protect consumers and creditors from the impact of reckless lending. Its visionary impact was seen in 2008 and 2009 as the rest of the world reeled from the impact of the global financial crisis with businesses and banks closing or needing bailouts and millions of citizens losing work or getting into serious debt.
Consumer Assist was the offshoot of Debt Control Management, DCM the largest company of its kind in South Africa. DCM assists mostly blue-chip corporates to manage debt within their organisations, not only external debt issues but internal debt issues including the debt of employees, which, if ignored, can have a negative impact on worker productivity and even create fraud risks.
Consumer Assist was created within the joint vision of its founding Chief Executive Officer, Andre Snyman, who had a long and distinguished career in the insurance industry and Anton Viljoen, founding CEO of DCM.
Consumer Assist, with its focus on Financial Wellness for both the employees of employer groups as well as the individual, focussed on debt counselling as part of its services to provide a holistic approach for the consumer regarding financial services.
Within three months of its launch, Consumer Assist was already acknowledged as the pre-eminent debt counselling organisation in South Africa. It had a strong positive relationship with the National Credit Regulator and the media and helped establish organisations and guidelines to ensure debt counselling developed and maintained the ethical and respected status envisioned by the legislation.
We have opened 8 branches in a short period of time in order to assist employer group
- Centurion Branch August 2008
- Alberton December 2008
- Cape Town January 2009
- Klerksdorp January 2009
- Randburg April 2009
- Kimberley April 2009
- Durban August 2009
- Johannesburg CBD September 2009
Consumer Assist’s credibility and unassailable leadership among debt counselling organisations saw Snyman and his team consider ways in which to further help consumers remain out of debt, or if indebted, find ways in which to rehabilitate themselves and to develop the capacity to create sustainable prosperity in the future.
With this goal in mind Snyman, and his team began work in late 2009 developing a network of franchises through existing Consumer Assist branches nationwide with the concept of providing debt counselling to those indebted as well as an array of closely aligned other services to such people and those without debt. These services included psychological assistance for the debt stressed, to trustworthy, thoughtful assistance in obtaining short and long term insurance, small business development assistance and other key areas of life associates with financial planning.
Consumer Assist’s first franchise operations will be launched in the second quarter of 2010.