South Africa Law
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Kindly elaborate on the kind of debt you mentioned in your question. Is it simply an unpaid account to a retailer, or an unpaid loan, or money owed to the State, or a judgment debt?
Provided that the credit card company did not obtain judgment against you, the debt will prescribe after 3 years after your last transaction (whether it is a purchase or payment into the credit card). A judgment debt will only prescribe after 30 years.