Credit crunch hits home

South Africans are feeling the effects of the global credit crunch and plan to cut down on spending and start saving in the next year, according to an international survey released yesterday.

South Africans are feeling the effects of the global credit crunch and plan to cut down on spending and start saving in the next year, according to an international survey released yesterday.

"South African consumers are bracing themselves for tougher times ahead in 2009," said Jeni Webber, South African manager of MasterCard Worldwide.

"More than eight out of every 10 South African respondents surveyed are looking at cutting back on discretionary spending in the next 12 months," she said.

South Africans were the most likely to cut back on "discretionary/recreation spending", which included spending money on fashion and accessories, cars, entertainment and fitness, and well-being.

She was quoting from the inaugural MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Priorities.

Also, unlike most other countries surveyed, South Africans are not planning on making any donations to charity soon.

The survey's findings are based on 3200 face-to-face interviews conducted between October and November last year in seven markets: Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.

In South Africa, 200 respondents in Johannesburg, 200 in Cape Town and 200 in Durban participated.

The research found that 97percent of South Africans and 97percent of UAE citizens regarded saving as very important or important. - Sapa

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