‘In South Africa, More People Have Loans Than Jobs’


“Household debt is hobbling the black middle class” of South Africa. Via The Economist:

* South Africans are the world’s most avid borrowers, according to the World Bank. A study published in 2014 showed that 86% had borrowed money in the previous year.
* Most borrow from friends or family, but an astonishing 25m out of about 37m adult South Africans owe money to financial institutions or other corporate lenders (such as utilities or shops that allow them to buy now and pay later).
* Fewer than 10m people are formally employed (although many more work on farms or in the informal economy, where statistics are not reliable).
* Many South Africans are ignorant of the basics of personal finance, a trait that transcends income levels. Neil Roets, who heads Debt Rescue, a debt-counselling firm, says new clients are first asked for their household budget. Most do not have one. “We get people coming in who earn very big salaries…and have never learned how to work with money.”

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