Faizel Patel, 2016-04-28
As thousands of consumers rush to grab specials at the Mall of Africa in Midrand, consumers have been urged to budget strictly, tighten their belts and save money.
The R5 billion centre north of the city which officially opens today will add 130 000 square metres of stores, the largest first-phase mall development in southern Africa.
While consumers are flocking to major retail shopping centre and franchise openings, economists have warned of at least a 50% major hike in food prices and another 18 cents petrol price increase next month.
Debt Rescue CEO Neil Roots says this will have a devastating effect on consumers who are already in debt.
“If you look at the meat prices that is expected to go up, between 50 & 60% and that along with the petrol price increase at about 18 cents is going to have a very bad and negative effect on consumers.”
Roets is advising consumers to save as much as they can and seek debt counselling if they are in financial difficulty.
“Consumers are currently finding themselves in a situation where they are over indebted. In fact almost half of all credit active consumers are over indebted, meaning that they are in arrears with at least three payments on one of their accounts.”
Roets says people should be aware that there is going to be a lot more price increases in 2016 and if they find themselves over indebted should apply for debt review in terms of the national credit act.