There is no legislation specifically prohibiting you from checking the credit references of job applicants but you should proceed with extreme caution. The Constitution of South Africa protects the right to privacy of all people in South Africa and the onus could be on you to prove to a court that credit checking was essential due to the operational requirements of the job.

This would be difficult to do, even where you are recruiting for the job of a bank cashier, establishing that an applicant has bad debt or a bad credit reference does not mean that the applicant is likely to steal the bank’s money. It could be viewed as discriminatory and an invasion of privacy to turn down an applicant after a credit check. All non-essential checks of this nature should be avoided.