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The Top million Households in South Africa Study

I attended the joint UCT Marketing Institute and M&C Saatchi Abel’s new study into South Africa’s top million households on 10 September. The report considers that the top million South Africans have a total net monthly income of over 40,000R, but that there is a sub-category within that of the most affluent, which take home more than 75,000R net. In 2019 nearly half the top million are new comers, some having leap-frogged the middle class to arrive in the top million. A point I found particularly interesting is that there are a significant proportion (18%) who are self-employed entrepreneurs. The researchers said that this seems to be a specifically African trait according to other research they have done on the Continent. 73% of the top million have followed further education.

The study showed that the top million households covered about 3 million people of which 600,000 were children. Stress, personal safety, and their kids’ futures are the main worries. 40% are confident of SA’s economy, but 75% believe their kids will be better off moving abroad to find jobs. Their main concerns were lack of time, the complexity of modern life, being expected to be “always on” social media, and financial worries (46% admitted that they have less than 3 months savings, while 27% admitted to be in a state of high financial stress). Most complained about SA’s high personal and dividend taxes; about the need to save for their pensions and about family obligations – medical insurance, school fees, the “black tax”, etc.

93% usually shopped at bricks and mortar retailers in Shopping Centres and Malls, but most said they research prices on online and found online convenient. 71% had shopped online in the previous 3 months, but the research only covered goods (fashion, clothes, books, electronics…) and not services (travel, entertainment…) which I feel is a missed opportunity. The majority felt poorly designed websites are a turn-off. 70% had not visited a bank in the last 3 months. 74% use Facebook, 19% use YouTube, 47% Instagram, 45% are on LinkedIn.

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Alastair Tempest

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