Garnishee Orders

Garnishee Orders

Human Resources, Payroll / eTorQue

Author: Dane McDonald (Article published on

Editor’s note: We have included this article published on to highlight some of the challenges with garnishee orders. HRTorQue offers a service not only to pay garnishee orders, but also to validate these orders. While this validation has not been a high priority for employers historically, paying invalid orders has a negative impact on employees and should be an area of concern particularly as it tends to impact the less well-off.

The Government has appointed a company to investigate the abuse of emolument attachment orders, also known as garnishee orders, in the public services sector.

Q Link Holdings was appointed on Tuesday to “investigate the extent and abuse of EAOs in the public service”.

Public servants are some of the most heavily indebted in South Africa accounting for approximately 40 percent or more of unsecured debt.

Q Link executive chairperson, Clark Gardner, told Fin24 that the company will manage all existing garnishee orders and will receive all new ones.

The company will capture the orders and access the Government payroll to ‘execute’ on the deduction and the payment to collectors, Gardner said.

“Irregularities and past over-deductions will be challenged in the appropriate court to rescind on a case by case or class action basis and criminally prosecuted if appropriate,” he said.

In July Judge Siraj Desai ruled that garnishee orders against 15 consumers were “unconstitutional” and “an assault on human dignity” in a landmark case.

The class action was brought by the Stellenbosch’s Legal Aid Clinic against a group of credit providers and Flemix & Associates, a law firm that facilitates the salary deductions.

In December 2013 Cabinet authorised the Ministers of Finance and Trade and Industry to take measures to assist the over-indebted.

This led to a call by Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene, for tenders to find a service provider to undertake an investigation into the extent and abuse of garnishee orders in the public sector.