Original Research

Assessment of debt counselling services: A case of Gauteng, South Afrca

Kgomotso H. Masilo, Johan Marx
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 9, No 1 | a37 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v9i1.37 | © 2017 Kgomotso H. Masilo, Johan Marx | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 December 2017 | Published: 10 March 2016

About the author(s)

Kgomotso H. Masilo, Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Johan Marx, Department of Finance, Risk Management and Banking, University of South Africa, South Africa

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Abstract

The high level of over-indebtedness in Gauteng is cause for concern. The number of consumers applying for debt counselling as well as the registered debt counsellors is increasing. The study on which this article reports aimed at exploring and describing the role of debt counselling in terms of personal financial well-being of consumers in Gauteng. Fifteen debt counsellors were interviewed and 300 consumers were surveyed. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics. There was no evidence that consumers who received debt counselling improved in their financial standing. It was observed that both debt counsellors and consumers lacked financial management skills. It was concluded that, while debt counselling is important, it does not necessarily improve the financial well-being of consumers. It is recommended that financial management skills should serve as a pre-requisite for debt counselling registration and consumers be introduced to personal financial management education at an early stage of their lives.

Keywords

Personal financial management; financial well-being; over-indebtedness; debt counselling; Gauteng.

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1. Mitigating the South African retirement-income shortfall crisis
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