CAPE TOWN – Almost eight in 10 South Africans say their household income has been cut by the Covid-19 pandemic, while one in ten had already lost their jobs, according to new research from consumer credit reporting agency,TransUnion,
An additional 7 percent of South African adults expect their household income will suffer in the future, a statement said yesterday.
Economists have predicted substantial job losses and business closures due to the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown on the economy.
TransUnion’s South Africa survey started in the week of April 6.
“Whether it’s their health, financial well-being or changes in day-to-day living, the lives of millions of people in South Africa and abroad have been dramatically changed,” said Lee Naik, the chief executive of TransUnion Africa.
TransUnion’s research found that some generations, particularly millennials, were more impacted financially by the pandemic than others.
While 89 percent of consumers who had less income from the effects of the pandemic were concerned about paying their bills, this increased to 92 percent for millennials and 95 percent for Gen X.
On average, respondents said they would be short about R7 000 in the near future.
When looking at the timing of any expected shortfall, 45 percent of impacted consumers said it will be longer than one month, but less than three months, while 23 percent expect to feel the impact between two to four weeks from now.
Some provinces were impacted by the job losses more than others, with the figure at 12 percent of respondents for the Western Cape, 11 percent for the North West and 10 percent from KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, respectively, with the younger generations more acutely affected by job loss.
Twenty-nine percent of South African consumers said they planned to use their savings to pay current bills. A smaller number (22 percent) said they would borrow money from a friend or family member.
Twenty-seven percent did not know how they were going to pay their bills or loans and 33 percent would only pay a partial amount that they could afford.
Two in five had already reached out to companies they have accounts with to discuss payment options.