Avoid panic buying as it may lead to overindebtedness, warns NCR

Consumers are urged to make responsible financial decisions during lockdown

25 March 2020 - 12:17
Shoppers at Makro load their trolleys ahead of lockdown.
Shoppers at Makro load their trolleys ahead of lockdown.

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 SA and the world at large.

In recent times, the National Credit Regulator (NCR) has seen many consumers resorting to panic buying of essential items as the fear of the coronavirus spreads. The NCR is encouraging consumers to exercise caution and restraint when spending in this difficult period, says NCR CEO Nomsa Motshegare.

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.

Some consumers resort to using credit to acquire these items 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, says Motshegare.

Motshegare further advises consumers who may be feeling financially distressed due to the impact of this pandemic to 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 overindebted.

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, says Motshegare.

This article was paid for by the National Credit Regulator.