In South African insolvency law, in as much as debt relief measures are contained in three pieces of legislation, a discharge from debt is only available to an insolvent debtor whose estate has been sequestrated and he is eventually rehabilitated. The history of South African insolvency law indicates a developmental change from a ‘harsh creditor-orientated’ approach to a ‘debtor-friendly’ approach. However, the advantage for creditors’ requirement is now firmly embedded in the Insolvency Act 24 of 1936. This requirement is not defined in the Insolvency Act but has been largely interpreted by the courts and stringently applied. It is only once the applicant for the sequestration order has extinguished the burden of proving this requirement, amongst others, will the court exercise its judicial discretion to grant or refuse the order. Consequently, this requirement creates a stumbling block for debtors wishing to use the sequestration process as a debt relief measure and force discharge of their debts on their creditors. The sequestration process is aimed at the advantage of creditors and not the relief of debtors. Overburdened debtors seeking debt relief who cannot prove advantage of creditors are therefore not considered in sequestration applications. However, although debt relief is not a primary object of the Insolvency Act, it is an indirect consequence of the sequestration process when the insolvent debtor is rehabilitated. The Insolvency Act almost deals with every aspect of the different classes of creditors while there is no provision of the different classes of debtors who can and those who cannot prove an advantage to creditors. This serves as an indication that there is an imbalance between creditors’ and debtors’ interests. The study seeks to analyse the effect of the advantage requirement on sequestration applications from a debtor’s perspective. The alternative debt relief measures available to debtors when pursued by their creditors as contained in the Magistrates` Court Act 32 of 1944 and the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 are examined. It is submitted that South Africa does not provide the required sufficient debt relief because the administration orders and debt review in addition to other deficiencies, do not provide debtors with a statutory discharge from debts. The South African Law Reform Commission in the 2000 Insolvency Bill has recommended that the advantage for creditors’ requirement be retained in the new Insolvency Act. In a comparative survey, various legal systems are considered to investigate how the issue of finding a balance between debtors’ and creditors’ interests in insolvency law is dealt with. To accommodate all debtors, it is then submitted that the advantage requirement should not be retained in the Insolvency Act.