All data is delayed
See More

Manuel: Too many caught in debt trap

Nov 03 2011 10:57

Johannesburg -  South Africa is a nation of highly indebted families, Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel said on Thursday.

"The move from living hand to mouth... is a death trap," he told delegates at the national consumer forum at the Gallagher convention centre in Midrand. "What we will earn next year is already spent."

Manuel said there are 18.84 million credit active people in South Africa, double the number of people in formal employment.

About 8.8 million of the 18.84 million are described as having impaired credit.

"They are in trouble," said Manuel.

"It's a scary number but a number that arises from circumstances." This is because of spending.

"We've spent money we haven't earned yet and we've spent it on goods that we don't need. We (are) trying to keep up with the Kunenes," he said.

This is why South Africa finds itself in a debt trap. Manuel said the protection and rights of consumers need to be exercised.

"We don't provide every single citizen with protection."

However, Manuel asked whether trying to help people not get into debt is taking away their freedom as consumers.

"Maybe we (are) looking for the wrong solution," he said.

South Africa has a low savings rate and so people borrow money at emergency rates.

"There is no cushion," said Manuel. 

trevor manuel  |  saving  |  money  |  debt



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


With infrastructure spending having been identified as one of the key focus areas of the National Development Plan, tradesmen will continue to play a critical role in growing the South African economy through their skills.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

A 30% a month return on investment is:

Previous results · Suggest a vote