August 14, 2020


We all know that South Africa is a country like no other, but it turns out that there are some pretty strange things happening with South Africans and their money. We checked out the facts to uncover the truth behind SA spending habits, debt and wealth distribution…

First of all, South Africa has one of the most unequal societies in the world, with 3500 people (just 0,01% of the population) holding 15% of the country’s total wealth. Even more shockingly, the top 1% of the population controls 55% of all wealth. [source]

According to the “More Month Than Money” survey by World Wide Worx, South Africans significantly prioritise their spending. We start off with the big three – paying for housing with 41% of our income, then we use another 24% for groceries, and 10% for transport. [source]

That’s where things get scary… it turns out that, after dishing out for these big-ticket expenses, 76% of South Africans are broke by the end of the month. Even worse, 57% of people are out of pocket before the 15th. Furthermore, 59% of women run dry, versus 56% of men – this is likely due to the fact that 60% of households are fatherless and women face an average pay gap of 27%. Shockingly, only 9% of South Africans turn to loans, while 20% use credit cards and a whopping 59% get through by borrowing money from friends or family. Even more shocking, only 76% of people use this borrowed money for non-essential expenses such as eating out, socialising and buying new clothes. [source]

This means that, while 43% of people can save for goals through savings accounts, stokvels and equities, only 4% can afford to put away money for retirement, investments, emergencies and children’s education. Furthermore, 40% of people are using 41 – 100% of their monthly income to pay off their debts. [source]

These last statistics may shock you, but here at Debtline, we know just how monumental the debt crisis is in South Africa. That’s why we are committed to getting South Africans back in control of their finances. Our tireless team works day and night to turn these worrying figures around, one household at a time.

If YOU form part of the population that is spending over 40% of their income on debt, we are here to help. Simply fill out our contact form, and one of our expert team members will call YOU to discuss how to get you 100% DEBT-FREE in 60 months or sooner!