Senzo Mchunu says SA is drowning in debt

Amanda Khoza

Durban – KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairperson Senzo Mchunu on Saturday said South Africans were getting deeper and deeper into debt.

Speaking at the two day Provincial General Council at Coastlands Hotel in South Beach, Mchunu said going into next week’s National General Council, the party would focus on policies affecting both the employed and the unemployed.

“Our policy making, implementation and review by nature should always be founded on socio-economic conditions that we see prevailing out there and affecting our people in different ways, this includes the employed and the unemployed,” he said.

He said while the government focused more on the country’s high unemployment rate, there were challenges affecting the employed.

“In December 2014, a report by the Credit Consumer Monitor stated that South Africans are over-burdened by debt. We are increasingly drowning in debt including those that are employed.

“At the time records showed that out of 22.84 million credit active consumers, 10 million have an impaired credit record.”

Garnishee orders

This means that 10 million people have received judgements and bad credit records, said Mchunu.

“The Public Service Commission in 2008 released information that public servants such policeman, nurses and teachers were the ones who were drowning in debt.

“Money collected from public servants was about R1.1bn in 2006 and 2007. If public servants were owing this much alone and they were employed, then you realise that there is a problem.”

Mchunu said government officials on salary levels 6, 7 and 8, were the ones who were served with garnishee orders the most.

“In the 2014-2015 financial year, money collected from employed people by government in KZN alone was R188m.

“The issue that affects policy here is garnishee orders. We need to look at all the laws and regulations pertaining to that policy.”


Mchunu said the government needed to help people in debt.

“There are many areas we need to look at like how the courts apply the law when it comes to garnishee orders.

“Some people get garnishee orders even when they haven’t appeared in court. Sometimes money is taken without your permission, sometimes you are overcharged, sometimes there is duplication and other times once you have paid off the debt, they continue to charge you.

“There are many things that lead to employed people getting deeper and deeper into debt even when they are employed, especially public servants.

“We need to look at whether we have adequate policy, laws and regulations that seek to cover these people, especially public servants, if we are to protect them against what may seem to be unfair policy on garnishing orders.

“We need to look at every section of society that is affected by policy especially those that we take for granted that they are well-off,” said Mchunu.