Correctly applying the 'in duplum' rule

Correctly applying the 'in duplum' rule

The in duplum rule has been part of South African law for more than 100 years, being applied through South African case law from as early as 1830. Literally translated, in duplum means ‘double the amount’.

Finn Elliot KPMG SA


KPMG in South Africa


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The in duplum rule has been the subject of much academic debate and juristic opinion.

This factsheet highlights the following areas of application:

  • The interaction between common law and statutory in duplum
  • Statutory in duplum: practical difficulties
  • Statutory in duplum in practice: compliance

In duplum update

The National Credit Regulator (“NCR”) issued proposed guidelines on the interpretation and application of section 103(5) of the National Credit Act, commonly referred to as the statutory in duplum rule, on 30 January 2015. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide guidance regarding the implementation of the statutory in duplum rule and to address the challenges and uncertainties that have arisen in applying this rule.

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