The percentage of total tenants that were recorded as being in good standing with their landlords dropped sharply in the second quarter of 2020.
From 81.52% of tenants being in good standing in the first quarter, the percentage declined to 73.5% in the second quarter, a decline of eight percentage points.
Those tenants that paid on time amounted to 59.48% of total tenants in the second quarter, down from 64.84% in the previous quarter.
“This all translates into quarterly increases in the percentage of tenants ‘partially paying’ or not paying at all,” TPN said. “Interestingly, though, is that the percentage paying late remained on the decline in the second quarter.”
From 11.57% in the first quarter, the percentage of tenants making a partial payment jumped to 15.28%. The percentage who did not pay also rose from 6.92% to 11.22% over the same second quarters.
However, the percentage paying late declined from 16.68% to 14.02% after having been on decline from a few preceding quarters.
TPN said that the sharp weakening in tenant performance is strongly related to the Covid-19 lockdowns, the most severe lockdown months being in April and May.
“These widespread business shutdowns likely saw many tenants lose either part or all of their income, especially amongst those employees with more flexible remuneration arrangements, for example casual labour and those that are commission-based,” it said.
In addition, the tenant population went into the lockdown period already under some heightened financial pressure, caused by a long term stagnation in South Africa’s economy, its economic growth having broadly slowed from around 2011/12 to 2019, the group said.
By the second half of 2019 and early-2020, the country was already in mild recession even without any lockdowns.
“Economic stagnation had been taking its toll on tenants, and we had already seen a multi-year decline in the percentage of tenants in good standing, from a decade high of 85.95% back in 2014 to 81.52% in the 1st quarter of 2020, prior to the lockdown.”
As the festive season has kicked off in earnest and consumers spend more, FNB on Monday warned that approximately 56 percent of middle income consumers in South Africa spend all their monthly income in five days or less after receiving it.
This is according to data from FNB’s Retail segment, which categorises middle income consumers as those who earn a gross monthly income of between R7 000 up to R60 000.
Raj Makanjee, chief executive of FNB Retail, said that for many consumers it was not only a matter of living from one salary payment to another, the reality is that their monthly salary just does not last for 30 days.
Makanjee encouraged consumers to exercise financial discipline, saying that financial discipline was not dependent on having greater income but requires deliberate steps.
“These consumers tend to struggle with money management, with the shortfall leading to sacrifices in important areas such as having back up or emergency saving that can be used to pay for unforeseen expenses. High spending and limited savings cause consumers to rely on credit to get through the month, making them more vulnerable to be caught in a debt trap,” Makanjee said.
Christoph Nieuwoudt, chief executive of FNB Consumer, said more than half of consumers miss at least one debit order over a 12-month period, indicating the pressure consumers are under.
“For almost 40 percent of such customers, debt repayments make up more than half of their take-home-pay, which we consider to be very high. The main driver of this is large numbers of microlender loans and store cards that consumers take up. The ideal scenario for a consumer is to have one provider who gives them a transactional account and the right type of credit when needed,” Nieuwoudt said.
The bank said said it had also seen that 30 percent of middle income consumers who are saving, save for emergencies and at least one other longer-term goal.
Nearly 60 000 South African users have allegedly been impacted by the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data breach.
The breach which affects more than 87-million Facebook users came after some 270,000-people allowed use of their data by a researcher.
In 2013, a Cambridge University researcher named Aleksandr Kogan created a personality quiz app. Through the app, Kogan scraped the data of all their friends as well, a move allowed by Facebook until 2015.
The researcher then sold the data to Cambridge Analytica, which was against Facebook rules.
A Facebook spokesperson says 33 users in South Africa downloaded the quiz app and the 59,777 were friends of those who would have installed the app elsewhere in the world.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says there was a breach of trust between Kogan, Cambridge Analytica and Facebook.
“But it was also a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it. We need to fix that.”
Zuckerberg says Facebook has a number of plans to prevent something like this happening again.
“First, we will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform to dramatically reduce data access in 2014, and we will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity. We will ban any developer from our platform that does not agree to a thorough audit. And if we find developers that misused personally identifiable information, we will ban them and tell everyone affected by those apps. That includes people whose data Kogan misused here as well.”