- Many South Africans will not be able to vote today because their IDs are in the possession of loan sharks
- These loan sharks take the ID as collateral against loans
- The practice is illegal, but is nevertheless widespread
33-year-old East London resident, Nomfundiso (not her real name), will not be able to cast her vote today because a loan shark currently has her ID.
Despite being illegal, this situation is all too common in South Africa.
Loan sharks are known to keep ID documents as collateral against outstanding loans.
One such loan shark told GroundUp that she currently had six people's IDs in her possession, meaning that none of them would be able to vote today.
This is standard practice among many informal lenders. For example, Nomfundiso said that it is well known that in order to get one of these black-market loans, "You must leave your ID, Sassa or bank card, including the PIN," according to Times Live.
She said that these kinds of loan sharks - known as 'mashonisas' - are an option used by many people when they need money at short notice. However, these kinds of quick, informal loans come with heavy downsides.
Indeed, Nomfundiso said she is said that she would not be able to vote today, Briefly.co.za has gathered.
While the practice is illegal, one such mashonisa told GroundUp that she did not see anything wrong what she was doing. She says that she does not force anyone to take out a loan from her.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!