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SACP: Loan sharks must be stopped

Mar 03 2013 16:41 Sapa

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Johannesburg - Loan sharks who prey on the poor must be stopped, the SACP said on Sunday.

"We will be campaigning to ensure that government greatly strengthens its capacity to monitor, regulate and deal with reckless lending and other financial sector abuses," said SA Communist Party spokesperson Malesela Maleka.

In a statement issued after the SACP central committee's first meeting of year, Maleka said banks were allowing poor people to take out unsecured loans, which they could not repay.

"One of the contributory factors behind the Marikana tragedy was precisely the extortionist behaviour of the loan sharks operating in the surrounding communities."

Workers at Lonmin Platinum's mine in Marikana went on a wildcat strike over wages in August. Thirty-four of them were shot dead when the police opened fire on a group of strikers, allegedly in an attempt to disperse them, on a hill near the mine.

At the time, Maleka said: "10 out of the 11 'mashonisas' [money-lenders] in the area were brazenly breaking the law, making people desperate for money."

The term 'mashonisa', means to sink in isiZulu, and suggests that victims are eventually drowned in the debt they incur.
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