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50% of South Africans “struggle to afford a takeaway pizza”

A good meal at the end of the day is the least you expect after a long day at work. However, over half of all South Africans are being forced to forfeit taste and quality for price, as South Africa’s shopping baskets shrink.

When you can’t afford a decent meal or a pizza, when you can’t pay the bill again, afford a new jumper to replace the one with a hole in it - something is seriously wrong. Far from luxury spending, South Africans are struggling to simply get by.

Worth waking up for?

Nielsen’s recent Consumer Confidence Survey paints a bleak picture of the daily realities for so many of us, despite the hours that we put in at work. The report suggests that a large proportion of us are spending our days in a state of anxiety and constant penny-pinching for the most basic needs.

Anxiety as we stand in line at the supermarket awaiting the final total of the weekly shop, worry as we open the latest payment reminder or realise that one more wash is likely to render useless the second to last decent jumper we have.

What’s the damage?

It is no surprise that we learn that more and more of us are turning to companies like Wonga for online loans to cover the cost of unforeseen emergency expenses. A travesty in an age when we know that cheap is not cheerful, either on our bodies or the global economy. A shame that so many of us are being forced to resort to buying cheap food for our families.

According to, fifty-five percent of South Africans have had to switch to buying cheaper foods and over half of us have had to make cuts to bills, new clothes, takeaways and days out. So much for the good life!

Small wonder then that South Africans breathe a sigh of relief as Wonga South Africa confirms that it is a separate organisation to Wonga U.K., thus its operations and management are unaffected by recent events at Wonga U.K. Indeed, Wonga South Africa states that ‘it is business as usual’.

Why do we need short-term online loans companies like Wonga South Africa? Why is the use of short-term loans continuing to grow across the globe?

It is simple. Quite clear actually, when you look at the results of the Nielsen Consumer Confidence Survey.

We are using short-term loans because we are struggling to make ends meet. To afford the basic creature comforts - decent food, clothes, electricity. The little things that prevent our lives becoming one big drudge. The odd pizza, night out, new top to keep us going when the alarm goes off in the morning.

These loans companies exist because the banks stopped needing us, instead they fed themselves. Out of touch, they paved the way for online, short-term loans businesses to enter the market. Something for the everyday struggles that the banks had helped to create, and seemingly had no interest in.

Buy less, economise, some might say. The problem is, we are. The reality is that there are only so many thrifty cutbacks you can make. Everyone needs a little relief from daily drudgery once in a while, even if it is with a takeaway pizza.

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