• What is your business called, and what does your company do?

Cape Debt Clinic focuses on the financial wellness and recovery of ordinary South Africans. We work with employers and individuals who find themselves struggling with debt. We are a network of registered Debt Counsellors and, together with our trusted partners, we counsel people through whatever legal or social remedy might best suit their individual situation.

We do everything from debt review, mediation, garnishee & attachment orders, to helping families to budget effectively and referrals for problems created or exacerbated by debt like alcoholism, drug addiction, divorce, maintenance, social & employment problems and so on.

We have a Financial Wellness Programme for employers which includes financial awareness and education so that we can help prevent people getting into trouble in the first place, as well as helping them out of it, while shielding employers from some of the impacts of debt on employees.

  • What made you decide to go into this particular business venture?

I started my career working in a bank, and went on to manage several very significant social responsibility projects working with disabled and disadvantaged communities, which lit a spark in me. This business is the natural culmination of years of acquired financial expertise, a strong social conscience and access to a network of like-minded people who want to offer help and support in building a sustainable South Africa. Marikana was a disastrous consequence of a debt-stressed community. I am committed to doing my part in reducing and fixing consumer debt.

  • How long have you been running your business in the Tygerberg region?

We started operating part time about five years ago and finally opened our office in King Edward Street, Parow, in March last year. Since then we have been busy full-time!

  • What attracted you to do business here?

The Tygerberg region is the centre of thriving financial industry in Cape Town. It is the most visible, accessible – and attractive! – area in the Cape. Voortrekker Road is the corridor between North-South and West-East. So we are very central, especially as we do much of our work at client locations as well.

  • What opportunities has the Tygerberg region created for you?

Networking is an enormously valuable part of our business. We work at the forefront of an ever-evolving industry and it is essential to enable us to participate in the debates which shape the economic future of our country. We operate a strongly collaborative business model which benefits ourselves and all the business owners and service providers we interact with. We all reap benefits from sharing experiences, support and referrals.

  • What do you think makes the Tygerberg region unique?

The Tygerberg region is the growing edge of the Cape. Our pretty mountains channel all new developments through this geographic area! We find people, businesses and even the landscape in this area to be young, dynamic, diverse, creative … I don’t know of anywhere else you can find so much community spirit and a business hub where informal traders and freelancers and entrepreneurs and big corporates all rub shoulders.

  • Where do you see yourself and your business in a year’s time?

As a relatively young business, we need to become bigger and better established so that we can continue supporting consumers in a meaningful way. In addition to our Financial Wellness Programme for employers and Debt Review service to individuals, we also run various financial training workshops and outreach programmes. During 2016 we aim to provide one free Wellness day per quarter in community centres around Tygerberg – call us if you have any suggestions or requests!

Karin is available on 021 828 2658 or 073 903 6942. Her email address is karin@capedebtclinic.co.za. Visit their website for more information.