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Slave to debts? – Experiences with debts and the lesson learned

By Scelo Hlophe

Back in 2011 when I was at university doing my first year, I found myself being easily manipulated and under the pressure of requirements for class and the social pressure of needing to keep up with status, I applied for a credit card with a limit of R500. I was a student and there was absolutely no need for me to get the credit card nor did I need it.

My lesson in this was finally understanding the motivation for credit. Most of us get into debt and we do not even know what we used that credit for. To date, I still do not know what I did with that money. It a very long time for me to pay it off especially because I was a student. At the time, paying R500 back with interest was seemed impossible.

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You would think that I might have learnt something after that experience. But it took the hard way! I was tricked by a friend to open a store account with a promise that he would pay for it monthly. He only made 1 payment…. I still did not see anything wrong there and I changed my numbers to avoid getting calls, little did I know that could affect my credit record and my ability to be granted credit in the future.

This may sound like a cruel statement but, I would strongly advise that you never help people open up accounts on the basis of good deeds in the name of friendship. Sadly, this includes family. I learnt this when I opened up a cell phone contract on behalf of a family member who would pay for it once in 3 months . You can only imagine how that further damaged my credit profile.


The cycle became worse. I moved out from the student commune when I started working. The income I earned was low, but I needed furniture. I went to a furniture and bought some things with the total cost R7000. At least that’s what I thought.

The debt on credit was a total of R23 000. The monthly instalment combined with my other debt left negative balance in my bank account. This was a really uncomfortable way to live. I learnt that buying furniture and clothing on credit were not my wisest choices.,

Credit provides have made it so easy for us to actually get into debt. Below are some tips on avoiding unnecessary debt:

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  • Before applying for that credit card or personal loan, try find other means to be able to cover the need for the loan. Rather save money in an emergency fund.
  • Constantly monitor your spending and your bank statement. Notice where you are spending money and cut back on things you don’t need such as take out and entertainment.
  • Live within your budget. Accept when you cannot afford to buy things and save toward it. That will avoid you going for temporary loans or borrowing money from people to get through the month
  • Supplement your income when your income can’t carry you over. Look for part time or odd jobs that could help you earn some extra cash
  • Learn to say NO. We tend to want to help people even when we can’t or when their trustworthiness comes into question.. Try not to help friends or family take up credit on your name
  • By Law, as a consumer you are entitled to one credit report from all the credit bureaus. A credit report is what lenders use to see if you are a good payer when applying for credit. Checking your record can help you know the kind of interest you can get if you want to buy a car or a house, protects you from identity theft and allows you to mend incorrect information that is on your record. Monitor your profile and make sure that you always find ways to improve it.
  • Avoiding paying your debt can makes things work. Rather make arrangements to pay.
  • READ- we hate reading and we always rush for the part where we hear, “Your application was successful” and we do not read what we are getting ourselves into and the cost of the credit. Most credit packages come with many items that you pay for that which you do not really need to be paying for. Therefore reading and understanding what you are paying for can save you in the long term.

Written by: Zuko

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POPIA ActTo promote the protection of personal information processed by public and private bodies; to introduce certain conditions so as to establish minimum requirements for the processing of personal information; to provide for the establishment of an Information Regulator to exercise certain powers and to perform certain duties and functions in terms of this Act and the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000; to provide for the issuing of codes of conduct; to provide for the rights of persons regarding unsolicited electronic communications and automated decision making; to regulate the flow of personal information across the borders of the Republic; and to provide for matters connected therewith.


  • section 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, provides that everyone has the right to privacy;
  • the right to privacy includes a right to protection against the unlawful collection, retention, dissemination and use of personal information;
  • the State must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights;


  • consonant with the constitutional values of democracy and openness, the need for economic and social progress, within the framework of the information society, requires the removal of unnecessary impediments to the free flow of information, including personal information;


  • regulate, in harmony with international standards, the processing of personal information by public and private bodies in a manner that gives effect to the right to privacy subject to justifiable limitations that are aimed at protecting other rights and important interests,
  1. Definitions and Interpretation

1.1.“Personal Information” means information relating to an identifiable, living, natural person and where it is applicable, identifiable, existing juristic person, including all information as defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013. 

1.2  Parliament assented to POPIA on 19 November 2013. The commencement date of section 1Part A of Chapter 5section 112 and section 113 was 11 April 2014. The commencement date of the other sections was 1 July 2020 (with the exception of section 110 and 114(4). The President of South Africa has proclaimed the POPI commencement date to be 1 July 2020.

1.3. “Processing” means the creation, generation, communication, storage, destruction of personal information as more fully defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013.  

1.4. “You” or the “user” means any person who accesses and browses this website for any purpose. 

1.4. “Website” means the website of the KAYA 959 at URL or such other URL as KAYA 959 may choose from time to time.   

  1. Status and Amendments

2.1. KAYA 959 respects your privacy. This privacy policy statement sets out KAYA 959’s information gathering and dissemination practices in respect of the Website. 

2.2. This Privacy Policy governs the processing of personal information provided to KAYA 959 through your use of the Website. 

2.3. Please note that, due to legal and other developments, KAYA 959 may amend these terms and conditions from time to time.  

  1. Processing of Personal Information

3.1. By providing your personal information to KAYA 959 you acknowledge that it has been collected directly from you and consent to its processing by KAYA 959. 

3.2. Where you submit Personal Information (such as name, address, telephone number and email address) via the website (e.g. through completing any online form) the following principles are observed in the processing of that information: 

3.2.1. KAYA 959 will only collect personal information for a purpose consistent with the purpose for which it is required. The specific purpose for which information is 
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3.2.2. KAYA 959 will only process personal information in a manner that is adequate, relevant and not excessive in the context of the purpose for which it is processed. 

3.2.3. Personal information will only be processed for a purpose compatible with that for which it was collected, unless you have agreed to an alternative purpose in writing or KAYA 959 is permitted in terms of national legislation of general application dealing primarily with the protection of personal information. 

3.2.4. KAYA 959 will keep records of all personal Information collected and the specific purpose for which it was collected for a period of 1 (one) year from the date on which it was last used. 

3.2.5. KAYA 959 will not disclose any personal information relating to you to any third party unless your prior written agreement is obtained or KAYA 959 is required to do so by law. 

3.2.6. If personal information is released with your consent KAYA 959 will retain a record of the information released, the third party to which it was released, the reason for the release and the date of release, for a period of 1 (one) year from the date on which it was last used. 

3.2.7. KAYA 959 will destroy or delete any personal information that is no longer needed by KAYA 959 for the purpose it was initially collected, or subsequently processed. 

3.3. Note that, as permitted by the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002, KAYA 959 may use personal information collected to compile profiles for statistical purposes. No information contained in the profiles or statistics will be able to be linked to any specific user.    

  1. Collection of anonymous data

4.1. KAYA 959 may use standard technology to collect information about the use of this website. This technology is not able to identify individual users but simply allows KAYA 959 to collect statistics. 

4.2. KAYA 959 may utilise temporary or session cookies to keep track of users’ browsing habits. A cookie is a small file that is placed on your hard drive in order to keep a record of your interaction with this website and facilitate user convenience. 

4.2.1. Cookies by themselves will not be used to identify users personally but may be used to compile identified statistics relating to use of services offered or to provide KAYA 959 with feedback on the performance of this website. 

4.2.2. The following classes of information may be collected in respect of users who have enabled cookies: The browser software used; IP address; Date and time of activities while visiting the website; URLs of internal pages visited; and referrers. 

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5.1. KAYA 959 takes reasonable measures to ensure the security and integrity of information submitted to or collected by this website, but cannot under any circumstances be held liable for any loss or other damage sustained by you as a result of unlawful access to or dissemination of any personal information by a third party. 

  1. Links to other websites

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  1. Queries

7.1. If you have any queries about this privacy policy please contact us by emailing [email protected]