Money
Money. Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

The world at large is set for a tough economic recovery period following the coronavirus pandemic. In such times we see much anxiety, job loss, fear and desperation. It will be more important than ever, to safeguard your hard-earned money and not fall for ‘get-rich-quick schemes’, says Direct Selling Association of South Africa’s (DSA) chairman, Rajesh Parshotam.

“It’s to be expected that opportunists will take the recovery period as a chance to exploit people. We would like to take this opportunity to warn the public to err on the side of caution,” he said.

Parshotam says there will be opportunities in the future to generate income through legitimate non-conventional means such as direct selling.

The DSA, an industry self-regulator, puts all-new direct selling companies who apply for membership through a rigorous 12-month compliance process to ensure they are sustainable as well as ethically and professionally sound. Local and international member companies, of which close to 30 belong to the DSA, have to comply with the country’s laws before they can be upgraded from probationary member to full member status.

“The public should, at all times, but more especially now, exercise financial prudence rather than pursue untested financial expeditions. We’ve fielded many calls in the recent past, where members of the public needed to verify companies purporting to be direct selling operations. This is the type of behaviour we commend. Before trusting a company with your hard-earned money, research it, know their history and business practice and ensure they are aligned to a regulator,” he says.

Additionally, Parshotam says there are other factors to consider.

“Is the company associated with a direct selling association locally or abroad? Is it registered with the South African Commission of Intellectual Property and Companies (CIPC)? Does it have registered offices in South Africa? Is it registered with the South African Revenue Services (SARS)? Are commissions, bonuses and other incentive payments based on actual sales of products and services and not on recruiting other direct sellers? Is the organisation promising unrealistic rewards for little effort required?

Parshotam adds that the protection of all consumers and the public, in general, is a top priority for the DSA.

“This is a duty we take very seriously. The protection of both the consumer and the industry is critical to our strategic intent,” he says.

Parshotam says, after the COVID-19 storm has passed, the industry will be a safe avenue for many looking to generate additional income, which is why safeguarding it, protecting consumers and cautioning members of the public is of vital importance.

“We are certainly living in unprecedented times. There’s no telling what will happen tomorrow. We have however seen projections in the news media that the economy will take a while to recover from all this. Thousands of people — breadwinners, families and households — will surely be affected. Instead of taking the first available avenue out of a hard time, we strongly advise that people think long-term and evaluate how sustainable the potential venture will be,” concludes Parshotam.

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