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mzansi digitalised

Mzansi digitalised: bringing a truly South African solution into the digital age

As we head into Savings Month, it’s time to take stock of what inflation is doing to your purchasing power, and learn how a great homegrown way to save for your purchases while locking in today’s price can help you cope. 

South Africa’s consumer price inflation hit 5.9% in March this year, the highest it’s been since 2017. What this means is that everything you buy will cost more. Bear in mind that 5.9% is the average figure, so some items (like petrol, for example) have gone up way more than that. In tandem, the cost of credit will also rise. 

In short, your hard-earned money, or your pension, will just not go as far as it did a year ago. 

Things are even worse for the millions of South Africans who rely on credit. Credit is expensive—and getting more expensive, thanks to inflation—so you end up paying much more than the value of the item in the end. 

If you buy an item costing R10 000 on credit today, and pay it off over six months, you will end up paying R1,767.73 more for the item. That’s a lot of extra money! Alternatively, if you try to avoid those extra charges by saving up, chances are you’ll find that the price has gone up during the time it took you to save the purchase amount. 

There’s a better way! Enter a tried-and-trusted, truly South African solution: LayUp. As the name suggests, it’s the digital, modern version of the good old lay-by.  

LayUp is currently being used by 350-plus retailers, and more than 10 000 consumers have already taken advantage of it this year with inflation skyrocketing. By choosing LayUp at checkout, you can lock in the current price by paying a deposit and choosing payment terms in line with your budget. The retailer will then put the item aside until the full amount is paid, at which point it can be collected. 

This innovative take on a traditional payment method has many advantages: 

  • You choose the payment terms, so you’re never overstretched. 
  • The price you pay is fixed at the time of purchase, even if prices subsequently rise while you are saving. 
  • Because this isn’t credit—think of it as “save now, buy later”—there are no interest or other costs. 
  • If you find you can pay the outstanding amount off earlier, you are free to do so, with no penalties. 
  • Everything is totally transparent on the Web, so you can see exactly how much you’ve paid, and how much you have still to go.

Lay-bys have been trusted by South Africans for generations as a way to purchase goods without incurring massive credit charges—now with all of the convenience of digital technology, thanks to LayUp.

1 “What South Africa’s highest inflation in five years means for your budget”(9 May 2022), available at

2 Calculated using the National Credit Regulator’s maximum credit rating, June 2022.

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