During the festive season, many consumers tend to overspend and find themselves in trouble in the new year. With the country showing economic improvement, consumers may think that they have money.

Acting Manager of the National Credit Regulator: Communications Jimmy Golela says that it is important for consumers to plan for spending.

“It is very important for consumers to think about their spending. As you may have witnessed, a few days ago we had that spending frenzy where people went all out to spend some of them probably not having even planned for that kind of event and spending on such a day. Same thing happens over the festive season, which is why it is called the “silly season.” It is not called the silly season for nothing…when it’s Christmas time, we tend to lose our heads a bit and we overspend, we over-indulge, we buy things in large quantities.”

Golela says that there 25 million South Africans are credit active and about 61% are up to date with their debts. However, 9 million South Africans are over-indebted.

“A troubling number of nine million are over-indebted. That makes about 38% of consumers are struggling with their debts, they have accounts that may be three months or more in areas. Those are the ones that would normally bring complaints to the NCR.”

Golela says that the NCIR has initiatives to raise awareness in the country regarding responsible spending.

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