The Harsh Reality: Thousands Struggle with Tough Economic Pressures in South Africa

The Harsh Reality: Thousands Struggle with Tough Economic Pressures in South Africa

…By Roland Peterson for TDPel Media. Thousands of people in vulnerable communities are going through hard times due to tough economic pressures in present-day South Africa.


Food Forward SA, an organization dedicated to raising funds to feed the poor, sheds light on the daily struggle faced by thousands of South Africans in putting food on their tables.

Food Forward SA Shares Shocking Stats

Andy Du Plessis, the Managing Director of Food Forward SA, highlighted the dire circumstances of the poor who rely on borrowed money from loan sharks to purchase food on a daily basis.

In a report, he referred to data revealing that over 800,000 consumers resorted to credit facilities to cope with their financial situations.

The report states, “In March, Eighty20, a data consulting company, released their Credit Stress Report which reveals that more than 800,000 new entrants came into the credit market in the fourth quarter of 2022.

This compares with 600,000 the previous year, signaling a deepening debt spiral among over 18 million consumers – more than one-third of the population.”

Furthermore, Andy emphasized that while the report shows that millions of middle-class South Africans are resorting to formal credit to cover financial shortfalls in the face of a harsh cost of living crisis, there are still millions of vulnerable individuals who do not qualify for credit at all.


The Alarming Statistics of Poverty

According to the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity group’s Household Affordability Index for April 2023, 55.5% of South Africans live below the upper bound poverty line of R1,417 per month, and 25% of the population live below the food poverty line of R663 per month.

The Struggle of Households with Limited Financial Resources

Andy pointed out that households with scarce financial resources face significant challenges as food prices heavily influence their food choices.

These households often run out of money to buy food well before the end of each month and must resort to other coping strategies, such as eating less food, skipping meals, purchasing cheap and unhealthy food that may even be unsafe, and, in desperate situations, turning to loan sharks, which can have severe consequences.

The Tough Economy and Its Impact

Andy further commented on the challenging economic situation, noting that the country is experiencing unprecedented volatility and uncertainty with no immediate end in sight.

While economic growth and an end to power outages are crucial for recovery, these improvements will take time.

Ensuring access to nutritious food for the most vulnerable households is essential for the well-being, dignity, and long-term stability of the country.


It emphasizes the reliance on credit facilities and loan sharks for basic sustenance.

The statistics on poverty levels and food insecurity paint a stark picture of the reality for many South Africans.


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About the Author:

Roland Peterson is a seasoned and experienced writer with over 10 years of experience in the field. He has a special interest in news and has been writing about current events for many years. When he’s not busy writing, Roland enjoys spending time in nature and can often be found exploring the great outdoors. He also loves to relax and unwind by sipping coffee at his favorite coffee shop (Manhattan Espresso) while brainstorming ideas for his next article on TDPel Media. Roland is a dedicated writer who is passionate about delivering informative and engaging content to his readers. He lives in New York, USA.