South African actor Siyabonga Shibe has fallen victim to a devastating scam, resulting in the loss of his house, job, and cars. The ordeal began when a mysterious woman claimed to be his long-lost daughter and manipulated him emotionally. Though a paternity test initially confirmed their relationship, Shibe’s family later discovered that the results were fake and linked to a fraudulent business posing as a building materials shop.
Exploiting Shibe’s vulnerability, the woman promised him a substantial financial windfall from her supposed wealthy mother abroad. To access the money, he liquidated his assets, including his Johannesburg house and car.
Despite pleas from concerned family members, Shibe distanced himself from them, raising worries about his well-being. His loved ones suspect that he was deliberately targeted and manipulated by the scammers behind this elaborate scheme.
South Africans are holding back on buying new cars
Muted Year-on-Year Increase in New Vehicle Sales in South Africa Amid Economic Hardships
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has released its New Vehicle Sales stats for July 2023, showing a modest year-on-year increase of only 1.3%. This comes as passenger car sales decline due to a half-year of shrinking disposable income and economic hardships.
Aggregate Domestic New Vehicle Sales
During the period under review, aggregate domestic new vehicle sales reached 43,389 units, representing a somber increase of 567 vehicles compared to the 42,822 new cars sold in July 2022.
Notable Decline in New Passenger Car Market
The notable decline in the July 2023 new passenger car market stands at 27,839 units, experiencing a 9.7% decrease or a loss of 2,985 car sales compared to July 2022’s 30,824 new car sales.
Effects of Hike Rates
Naamsa attributes this decline to the effects of ten consecutive hike rates, totaling 475 cumulative basis points, which have filtered through the economy. These rate hikes have led to distressed borrowing patterns among households as debt service costs share of disposable income remains high at 8.4%, on average.
Decline in Medium Commercial Vehicle Sales
Another notable decline was seen in the sale of medium commercial vehicles, which decreased by 90 units or 11.6%, reaching 683 units in July 2023, down from 773 vehicle units recorded in July 2022.
Positive Performance in Other Sectors
Despite the negative trends in the domestic market, there were notable improvements in other sectors. Export sales saw a substantial increase of 11,896 units, or 47.3%, reaching 37,064 units in July 2023 compared to the 25,168 vehicles exported in July 2022, though the low base is influenced by the effect of the July 2022 Kwa-Zulu Natal Riots shocks on production and exports.
Positive Performance in Heavy Truck and Buses Segments
The heavy truck and buses segments of the industry reflected a positive performance during the month, with 2,201 units sold, indicating an increase of 528 units or 31.6% compared to the corresponding month last year.
Industry Sales Breakdown
The total reported industry sales of 43,389 vehicles comprised sales from various segments, with dealers representing 81.8% of sales (estimated at 39,086 units), the rental industry at 14.1%, government sales at 1.7%, and industry corporate fleets at 2.3%.
Despite the decline in sales, Naamsa believes this is the low point in the industry and was mostly expected due to the tough economic environment experienced in the first half of the year. There are positive signs moving forward for the industry, with unchanged rates and improvements in inflation rates boding well for the car market.
Signs of Relief
Various indicators offer signs of relief for the industry, including a lower fuel index recorded at 8.3%, food inflation revised lower at 10.3%, and consumer price inflation dropping below the SARB’s target range of 3% to 6% to 5.4% in June 2023.
Additionally, collaboration between government and business, with 115 private company CEOs pledging support in July 2023 to help turn the tide on South Africa’s economic challenges, provides hope for achieving sustainable development and inclusive economic growth.
The auto industry remains invested in supporting the country’s recovery efforts and strengthening its investment story into the future, according to Mikel Mabasa, Naamsa’s CEO.