Motorists are paying an extra 10c a litre for 95 octane petrol at the coast, and 12c a litre in Gauteng. While this may not seem like a huge amount, the rollover effect is expected to impact on consumers.
Debt Rescue says this latest petrol price increase will trigger further price hikes of goods and services, which will have dire consequences for indebted South Africans.
Neil Roets, CEO of Debt Rescue, warns the fuel price hike will push debt-ridden consumers into the hands of illegal loans sharks and microlenders.
However, he noted that many consumers have reached the point where their credit records are so impaired that no legitimate microlender would take them on.
“Their only option is to seek out loans at extortionate rates from illegal loans sharks that are still widespread in especially rural areas.
9m consumers can’t pay their bills
“When the additional price rises in food and consumer goods start filtering through the economy that is going to exacerbate the situation even further,” cautioned Roets.
He said about 9 million consumers are in arrears by three or more months on at least one account, or have a debt judgment or administration order to their names.
Younger generation in debt
The average age of debt-ridden consumers has fallen from 42 to 34, showing that younger generations are fast getting into trouble, says DebtBusters spokesperson Ian Wason.
Wason said once a young person has too much unsecured debt, they are unlikely to ever be able to buy a house, start a business, or save for the future. In recent years, unsecured credit has been growing at rates of up to 40%.