‘It was too much’
“I wish this nightmare on no one,” says (40). Bailey, a single mother of two who was one of the applicants in the landmark court case.
She had three emolument attachment orders against her totalling more than R24 000 and had nothing left at the end of the month. Bailey earned a gross salary of R7 100 and R2 163 was deducted from it each month. This was on top of other debts she had.
She still gets tearful when she speaks of her ordeal as an overindebted mother who sometimes could not feed her children. “I’m the breadwinner and fell behind on my rent. After a while, I had to get a loan to pay rent just to keep a roof over our heads. Then I could not keep up and had to get another loan. It was not as if I wanted to be in debt, I just had no other choice.”
“And then I saw money was being deducted from my salary. It was almost all of it. We hardly had money to live on for the rest of the month.”
Bailey knew she had signed for the debt and had to repay it, but “it was too much”.
“I felt like I had nowhere to turn,” she says.