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Consumers spent big on groceries, entertainment and fuel in December

Consumers spent big on groceries, entertainment and fuel in December
30-01-23 / Shelly Nxumalo

Consumers spent big on groceries, entertainment and fuel in December

Johannesburg - With Janu-worry drawing to a close, and as South Africans recover from the traditional spending over the December holiday period, BankservAfrica’s Point-of-Sales (POS) transactional data showed how the spend varied among cost-conscious consumers.

“The total spend during the month amounted to R100 billion as volumes reached 142 million in December,” says Solly Bellingan, Head of Customer Relations at BankservAfrica.

Topping the list of consumer spend were grocery stores and supermarkets at R26 billion; betting outlets (including lottery tickets, casino gambling and off-track betting) at R11.7 billion; service stations at R9.2 billion; non-financial institutions (foreign currency exchange and money orders) at R3.5 billion and family clothing stores at R3.1 billion.

The busiest shopping places were grocery stores and supermarkets (45 million); service stations (12.8 million); eating places and restaurants (8 million); miscellaneous food stores and fast food outlets (7.5 million). 

“Following the challenging year for the economy and households, our data show the total value of spending was only 7% higher than the previous year’s while the volumes had grown by 17%,” says Bellingan.

The amount of cash circulating in South Africa totalled R84 billion in December 2022, according to

BankservAfrica’s Integrated Cash Management Service (ICMS) data, which reflects the combined total of physical cash orders by commercial banks for their respective ATM and branch networks. Despite the 6% decline on the  R89 billion in December 2021 – resulting from the 19 working days in 2022 compared to the 21 in 2021 – cash remained in high demand. 

“One of the peak days was 15 December, ahead of the Day of Reconciliation, with cash orders to the value of R8 billion placed. On the other, orders worth R7.9 billion occurred on 23 December, during the Christmas shopping rush,” ends Bellingan.

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