The National Credit Regulator (NCR) is encouraging consumers to exercise caution and restraint when spending in this diffi cult period, said Nomsa Motshegare, Chief Executive Officer of the NCR.
Many South Africans are overwhelmed, living in fear and anxiety because of the rapid escalation of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) which presents an unprecedented threat to South Africa and the world at large. In recent times, we have seen many consumers resorting to panic buying of essential items as the fear of the Coronavirus spreads. Consumers are urged to make responsible financial decisions.
Buying under panic and anxiety has the potential for consumers to buy things they do not need and cannot afford. For some consumers to acquire these items, they resort to using credit and this could be detrimental to their overall financial health. It is important for consumers to remember that credit comes at a cost and that the credit acquired has to be repaid, advised Motshegare.
Motshegare further advised consumers who may be feeling fi nancially distressed due to the impact of this pandemic to be proactive in addressing their fi nances 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 of the interest rate, consumers should not increase their spending but rather use this opportunity to decrease their current debt and save for emergencies, according to Motshegare.