Debt, Debtor, Indebted

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By Catherine Sasman

WINDHOEK

The spate of high profile, highly publicised reports of defaulters of debt – be it municipal debt, non-payment of maintenance fees or school fees – has not only raised eyebrows, but also some uncomfortable questions.

One question is whether Namibians have a bad attitude towards debt that ensnares them in the unenviable position of perpetual debt servicing.

“Namibians are indifferent and imprudent when dealing with debt,” said Anna-Maria Coetzee, a young and upcoming entrepreneur.

Her prognosis is that people often live beyond their means, “to keep up with the Jones'”, and would rather go into debt.

“People in Namibia – and particularly in Windhoek – seem to have a need to be seen as very important. It costs money to look like a CEO of a company; the expectation is that you should drive a certain car, dress in a certain way, and live in a house that is just so.”

Conspicuous consumption is the evil of all debt, she figures.

“People with high incomes, particularly, overburden their budgets, and get away with it because banks are more prone to give them credit facilities. So they buy more because they want more because they earn more.”

A teacher working at a cr?

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