The executive committee of Capitec is meeting on Monday afternoon to discuss whether it will change its credit policies and procedures to accommodate clients who may fall behind on credit instalments during the coronavirus crisis.

On Sunday evening, president Cyril Ramaphosa warned that the virus could have a severe impact on the economy, potentially bankrupting businesses and leading to job losses.

He said a decline in exports and tourist arrivals will be exacerbated by both an increase in infections and emergency measures to keep it from spreading. 

Capitec spokesperson Charl Nel told Fin24 that at the moment the bank handles credit defaults on a case-by-case basis, using its existing policies and procedures. 

“However, this standard procedure might change after today’s Exco meeting,” he said in a reference to Monday afternoon’s meeting.

In Italy, government announced that its citizens would not have to make home loan repayments during the coronavirus crisis, and banks also gave  their clients “debt holidays”, which allowed them to take a break from payments.

Government, unions, banks and other businesses will take part in an emergency meeting of Nedlac on Monday afternoon, Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Monday. They will discuss measures to curb coronavirus and its impact on the economy.

Even before the current crisis, South Africans were struggling to keep up with credit repayments – as evidenced by a sharp increase in bad debt write-offs in the recent financial results of large banks.