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Gauteng high earners are leaders in consumer debt

I-Net Bridge

Gauteng has the highest consumer debt per capita of all nine provinces and accounts for almost half of total consumer debt in SA, says a new survey.

The province with the lowest per capita debt was Limpopo‚ which accounted for 4% of the total debt owed in SA. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The survey was done by the Institute of Race Relations.

The survey monitors long-term trends in society‚ politics and the economy.

Using official figures from the National Credit Regulator‚ the institute found that the average individual in Gauteng owes R4 260.

Forms of debt include mortgage agreements‚ secured credit‚ unsecured credit‚ credit facilities‚ and short-term credit transactions.

The Western Cape accounted for 14% of the total debt owed in SA‚ and had the second highest debt per capita at R2 700 per person.

Higher incomes
The province with the lowest per capita debt was Limpopo‚ which accounted for 4% of the total debt owed in SA‚ with R750 per capita.

Data also showed that total consumer debt in the country increased from R85-billion in 2011 to R104-billion in 2012‚ or by R19-billion. Average per capita debt was R2 050.

"Higher income earners are able to borrow money more easily as they have assets or income against which they can borrow‚" researcher at the institute Georgina Alexander said.

"On the other hand‚ low income earners are less likely to have assets or a large enough income against which they can borrow money."

Alexander added that Gauteng had the highest annual average household income in the country‚ "so part of the reason for the high per capita debt in Gauteng may be the higher incomes in the province." – I-Net Bridge

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