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Public servants 'drown in debt

By Mpho Sibanyoni and Tebogo Monama | Nov 15, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 43 ]

THREE out of five public servants who have sought assistance from the Consumer Fair are drowning in debt as a result of each having more than two garnishee orders.

Consumer Fair chairman Thami Bolani disclosed this week that more than 60% of the public servants who had recently sought financial counselling from his nonprofit organisation have more than two garnishee orders.

Bolani said teachers were the worst affected. But Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said private sector labourers were also hard hit to the extent that their entire salaries were "swallowed" by garnishee orders.

Simply put, a garnishee order is the common term used to describe an emoluments attachment order, which gives a credit provider the right to dock wages or salary in repayment of a debt.

"Garnishee orders were the fuel behind the Marikana strikes because creditors go into bank accounts of miners and leave them with a zero balance," Vavi said.

"We can't continue having a situation where mashonisas (loan sharks, or black market micro-lenders) have money readily available for lending to anyone, but it later becomes difficult for employees to repay the loan and they end up being hit with garnishee orders."

Speaking at the Nedbank and Mail & Guardian Critical Thinking Forum, outspoken academic and political commentator Mamphela Ramphele blamed the government and trade unions for failing to ensure that public servants, including teachers, earned a decent income, which she said could help prevent their falling into debt traps.

Ramphele said the government and unions were well aware of the financial troubles faced by public servants but were not doing anything.

"The government and unions use employees who are in financial distress as voting fodder instead of acting as a support structure," she said.

"This is why most teachers were demoralised in attending to their jobs," Ramphele said.

South African Democratic Teachers' Union secretary Mugwena Maluleke said they were aware that teachers were badly indebted.

Most teachers earn between R150000 and R380000 a year. Naptosa's Ezra Ramasehla said teachers are mostly in debt because of loan sharks.

"Teachers need a lot of financial literacy and we are getting financial institutions to help them," Ramasehla said.

Maluleke said the union had not been successful because teachers were not willing to open up about their financial problems.

"No one wants people to know they are indebted," Maluleke said.

"It is easier when we get the institutions to help them than doing it ourselves."

COMMENTS [ 43 ]

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Corruption, Malema and the ANC is not what will bring South Africa down. What will bring South Africa down is debt and the unsecured credit market.

Nov 15, 2012 1:29 | 0 replies

lekakamasepa - And instead of addressing the comment, you resort to verbal abuse again :P

Typical ANC.

Nov 15, 2012 10:11 | 0 replies

I don't reply or entertain attention seeking shills.

Nov 15, 2012 10:9 | 0 replies

lekakamasepa - I'll repeat again. You are the product of the interests of the political elite in South Africa. Shouting vocal abuses at critics of the ruling party. Ignorant to the failures of the ruling party. She has more knowledge of economics than all of the ANC put together. And she is critical of these fake-communist/capitalists that you call your leaders. Sleeping in the boardrooms as directors of British mining companies.

Nov 15, 2012 9:59 | 0 replies

This is Jacob Zuma's grand plan:

- The biggest investigation and court case in SA history, launched against Jacob for corruption
- Disband the Scorpions for investigating him for corruption
- Spy on the telephone calls of citizens
- Illegally acquire the taped phone conversations of the president
- Use illegal spytape to make secret deals with government
- Implement secrecy bill
- Classify spytapes as national secret
- Never ever have to face justice

Nov 15, 2012 9:56 | 0 replies

I'll repeat it again Mamphele Ramphele is a proxy of white western corporate interests, She was trained by the Greedy IMF, she easily get's away with it because most people think that because of her struggle credentials and educational backround she's still the same person she was before she left to work for the Rothschild IMF. She's a chartlatan who's shilling on behalf of the west to the detriment of the unsuspecting masses who think she is still part of the black consciousness movement!

Nov 15, 2012 9:55 | 0 replies

@vivla
I'd go via UNISA if I were you

Nov 15, 2012 9:51 | 0 replies

MorokaLebola - She isnt negative, she is criticizing the incompetent and corrupt government. Bad people prosper when good people do nothing.

Either take the criticism, or sit down.

Nov 15, 2012 9:48 | 0 replies

Mokgekolo Ramphele mara le yena! She is negetive about everything all time. You cannot be negetive everything you open your mouth and expect us to think you are normal. Hence she looks like she ageing by the day. She sound so bitter its sad. Shame nyatsi ya batho!

Nov 15, 2012 9:40 | 0 replies

The ANC is TERRIFIED of allowing debate on Zuma's vote of no confidence. They are so worried that some of the ANC members will vote against JZ in a secret ballot, that they are simply blocking the motion.

ANC is a bunch of cowards.

Nov 15, 2012 10:15 | 0 replies

Check this out:

JiC, a mining labour brokering company, belonging to Duduzane Zuma and Tony Gupta, will be retrenching hundreds of workers.

Nov 15, 2012 10:17 | 0 replies