Following President Cyril Ramaphosa‘s address on Monday evening, 23 March about the national lockdown from midnight on Thursday (26 March) until midnight on Thursday 16 April, many South Africans have resorted to panic buying, despite the president asking South Africans to refrain from doing so.
Nomsa Motshegare, chief executive officer of the National Credit Regulator (NCR) has urged consumers to exercise caution and restraint when spending in this difficult period.
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Motshegare urged consumers to make responsible financial decisions. Customers buying under panic and anxiety might potentially buy things they do not need and cannot afford. Some consumers resort to using credit, which could be detrimental to their overall financial health. It is important that consumers remember that credit comes at a cost and has to be repaid.
“Consumers who may be feeling financially distressed due to the impact of this pandemic must be proactive in addressing their finances and debt. Consumers are advised not to ignore their debts, but to contact their credit providers. Consumers can approach a debt counsellor for further assistance if over-indebted.”
In light of the recent decrease in the interest rate, consumers should not increase their spending but rather use this opportunity to decrease their current debt and save for emergencies, concluded Motshegare.