Daily deals site OneDayOnly is calling on employers to pay their employees early this week so that they can take maximum advantage of the discounts on offer during Black Friday.
Black Friday will be taking place on Friday, 24 November – one day before the typical payday for salaried workers in the country.
While the day origniated in the United States as a day for older stock to be sold at massive discounts ahead of newer stock coming in for the festive season, the shopping trend has migrated to other markets, including South Africa.
South Africa’s Black Friday differs in that sales are often more muted, and consumers tend to use the period to stock up on basic essentials and pantry items ahead of the holidays.
Speaking to eNCA, the director of OneDayOnly, Laurian Venter, said that a concession for employees to get paid early would give a boost to South African consumers and help them take advantage of the discounts being offered.
“The reality is that in South Africa, and worldwide, Black Friday is a massive day of sales and discounts.
“It’s going to be a challenge for a lot of people who have been saving up or waiting for a whole year for these sales and only get paid a couple of days after the discount event or at the beginning of December,” she said.
Reckless spending warning
Despite the good intentions behind the call for early pay, eNCA noted that some might caution against getting early access to one’s salary given the financial pressures South Africans are already facing in 2023.
The DebtBusters’ Debt Index report for the third quarter of 2023 showed the average South African consumer needs to spend around 63% of their take-home pay to service their debt.
Nedbank’s latest NedFinHealth Monitor shows that 76% of South Africans say their expenses increased in the past 12 months, while 62% say their spending equals or exceeds their income.
Additionally, 69% of South Africans cannot pay all their bills on time, with 33% who said they were homeowners having been late with their home loan repayment in the past 12 months.
South African Reward Association member Kirk Kruger added that South Africans are among the most indebted people in the world in 2023, with as much as 73% of disposable household income servicing debt repayments.
“Many people are facing extraordinary financial headwinds and struggling to service their debt on home loans, vehicle loans, credit cards and overdrafts,” he said.
He used the example of an average South African salary earner – reflective of the country’s middle class – to illustrate this impact. “A middle-class South African with a bond of R1.5 million, a car loan of R300,000, and a personal loan of R50,000 is now paying approximately R5,438 more per month on loan repayments compared to November 2021.
“This means this person will need to earn an additional R8,915 per month at a gross level to have the extra R5,438 after tax to sustain their standard of living. That is more than R106,000 per year,” he explained.