Cape Town – Most people seem to be oblivious to interest rates and how it affects them, according to a spot poll conducted by Fin24.
Taxi commuters in Cape Town said they are not interested in what interest rates are doing because “it doesn’t affect us”.
Still, most of them have store cards.
Passersby saw it as a perfect opportunity to get a loan. “Debt is cheaper now. This is a golden opportunity to go to the banks... it will be much easier to get a loan.”
Another said: “I wish I’d taken out a home loan when the interest rate was at 10%. My premiums would’ve been much lower now.”
A pensioner who is dependent on her interest income from savings was unhappy. “It is good news for some, but not for us older people who have seen our investments and savings depleted.
“At this rate, why would anyone bother to save? You may as well put your money under the mattress.”
Chief economist at the Efficient Group Dawie Roodt doesn’t foresee a counter surprise from the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) in 2013.
“The Sarb’s decision doesn’t bode well for the economy. Low interest rates are supposed to support the economy and an economy that needs support is weak,” he told Fin24.
“It appears the Sarb knows something we don’t.”
On what the interest rate cut means for consumers, Roodt advised them to have a solid financial plan.
He supported the idea of approaching banks for loans, but for improving living standards.
“Go for the loan - but let it be for capital to support a very good and conservative business plan.”
The spot poll came after the Reserve Bank in a surprise move last week cut its repo rate, the rate at which it lends money to banks, to 5%.
This brought the prime lending rate to 8.5%.