This past Sunday was a celebration of mothers throughout the world, and new data has highlighted the plight of single mothers in the country.
According to analysis done by the National Debt Advisors (NDA) Research Department, the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown between March and December 2020, saw 80% of South African households spending their income paying off debt.
Charnel Ernstzen, Managing Director at the NDA, “A recent analysis of our client base showed that, although 80% of women budget their income, 70% of them simply run out of money before month end. This leads them to seek out unsecured debt, and most likely approach unregistered money lenders in the township areas.”
60% 0f South African households are fatherless
Data from Cape Town based analytics consultancy Eighty20’s Credit Bureau data shows that 60% of South African households are fatherless. Leaving all financial responsibilities on the mother.
Single mothers are the most distressed by the pandemic, and more likely to fall into debt as a result.
Earlier this year, Kaya Biz with Gugulethu Mfuphi had a discussion on women being at an unfair advantage in the country. More women were less employed across all races, Black Women represented 38.5% of SA’s unemployed population.
Women are more likely than men to live in households that reported running out of money for food in April 2020. And a retrospective look shows that between 2016 and 2020, women’s unemployment averaged 34.3% against 31% for men.
Women and debt
Pressures of additional domestic responsibilities resulted in women exiting the workforce. Car repayments, bonds or rent, electricity, rates and taxes, food, cellphones, and data are amongst the list of every day expenses.
According to Charnel Ernstzen, many single mothers are unaware of the debt assistance they have access to. As an example, when receiving demands for payment from a creditor, one has access to a debt counsellor to allow for debt review.