Tighten your belt; the recession may affect you badly

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Mpho Ramapala, Manager Education and Communication at the National Credit Regulator (NCR), says the announcement by Statistics South Africa that the country is in a recession indicates a glooming picture ahead for consumers.

Stats SA has announced that the South African economy has moved into recession, this after a decrease of 0.7% in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was reported during the first quarter of 2017, following a 0.3% contraction in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The NCR has caution consumers about taking unnecessary debt during these trying times. “We would like to reiterate our advice to consumers on how to attain financial well-being, and in this regard we recommend that consumers should scale down on unnecessary and luxury expenditures and to live within their means. Consumers should also continuously assess their financial position in order to make realistic financial decisions,” says Ramapala.

She says that consumers should try to avoid increasing their current debt load, and look for alternative ways to manage their existing debt.

“Consumers who are debt stressed should not despair, and should communicate with their credit providers for solutions into their situations. Over-indebted consumers can also seek advice from registered debt counsellors or alternative dispute resolution agents,” added Ramapala.

The NCR also reminded credit providers to lend responsibly to consumers in compliance with the affordability assessment provisions of the National Credit Act.

Seithati Semenokane / Courant News