Debt relief for government employees

2016-04-27 06:00

THE KZN Treasury Department has just revealed that one in seven public servants in KwaZulu-Natal government departments have a garnishee order against their salary.

This was unveiled as the KZl Financial Literacy­ Association Trust (KZNFLA) recently launched its debt relief programme.

The chairperson of the trust, Artwell Hlengwa, said the programme would help those in debt and said the situation gets worse by the day.

“We have partnered with financial services that will help these civil servants save their money. People will now be able to get out of debt while investing and saving at the same time. The civil servants don’t know anything about saving and investing and they will be taught how to do this by professionals,” said Hlengwa.

He said the Trust is working with investment management firms, including Allan Gray.

KZNFLA Trust board member, advocate Linda Zama said that many people are trapped in debt because they live beyond their means.

“People are afraid to say they cannot afford [this or that]. They spend money on items they don’t need - just to satisfy their ego. What good is it to have luxuries when you don’t sleep at night because you are scared that debt collectors are threatening to repossess all that property?” she asked.

KZN treasury office economist Jacob Twala said that all civil servants must not withdraw their pension fund because to pay off their debt.

“A pension fund is supposed to look after when you retire, not pay debts.”

Alfred Matsimbi of National Credit Regulator warned people to be careful with their identity documents and where they put their signatures. He said people must ask for clarity and make sure they understand exactly what is expected from them before entering into any credit agreement, which must be in a language they understand.

“When civil servants and citizens save and invest they assist in the development of their country. For a country to prosper citizens must save more and spend less,” said Twala.

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