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South Africa’s middleclass is drowning in debt and getting poorer and poorer

10 February 2020 1:49 PM
The weak economy is "pushing people back into poverty from the middleclass", according to Debt Rescue CEO Neil Roets.

Things aren’t looking good for our country. The forecast for economic growth is still below 1% and consumers are literally borrowing more just to survive…

Clement Manyathela

South Africa’s middleclass is increasingly funding their lifestyles by way of unsecured debt such as loans and credit cards, according to debt counselling group Debt Rescue.

All these price increases and the debt… are pushing people back into poverty from the middleclass… They're paying a lot of taxes but they're not getting a lot of tax breaks. They're earning more than lower-income people but not enough to cover all these price increases…

Neil Roets, CEO - Debt Rescue

Clement Manyathela interviewed Neil Roets, CEO at Debt Rescue.

People earning more than R15 000 per month… these people finance their goods… the vehicles they finance, their houses… they’re feeling the pinch of the sluggish economy. Prices are going up… Employees don’t get the increases and bonuses they’ve become used to…

Neil Roets, CEO - Debt Rescue

It’s very difficult to get yourself out of debt…

Neil Roets, CEO - Debt Rescue

In South Africa, we are very, very lucky to have the best legislation with regards to helping overindebted people. It’s called the National Credit Act. It makes debt counselling available, a process by which you pay off your debt in lower instalments over a longer period, so you have enough left to pay for your living expenses… It protects consumers against credit providers who want to take legal action…

Neil Roets, CEO - Debt Rescue

For more detail, listen to the interview in the audio below.

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10 February 2020 1:49 PM

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