Gauteng has the highest consumer debt per capita of all nine provinces, the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said yesterday.

The country’s economic capital also accounted for almost half of consumer debt held in South Africa, according to a survey conducted by the SAIRR. The average individual in Gauteng owed R4 260. Debt included mortgage agreements, secured credit, unsecured credit, credit facilities, and short-term credit transactions.

SAIRR researcher Georgina Alexander said Gauteng had the highest annual average household income in the country.

She said higher income earners were able to borrow money more easily as they had assets or income against which to borrow.

The Western Cape accounted for 14 percent of the total debt owed in South Africa and had the second-highest debt per capita at R2 700 a person. Average per capita debt in South Africa was R2 050. – Sapa