Pound of Flesh is a project supported by the impactAfrica fund of Code for Africa.

Initially, the project planned to explore South African data about garnishees – a common and highly politicised debt collection tool. Garnishee use has been shown to further entrench indebtedness and income inequality, and is predominately used against poorer people who don’t have assets to use to recuperate unpaid debts. You can see the Pound of Flesh project page here.

After the landmark 2016 ConCourt ruling that addressed some of the loopholes in the law around garnishee use, the decision was taken to broaden the scope of the Pound of Flesh project, and delve deep into South African consumer credit data, including an attempt to answer:

  • How much debt are South Africans in?
  • What are safe levels of debt for consumers?
  • And what does this mean for our broader economy?

Pound of Flesh is a data-driven, journalistic project – collating stories of consumer credit, and demystifying and contextualising the related data. This website brings together various elements from the grant – including news coverage links, personal debt stories from real consumers, and – going forward – multimedia.

Need to get in touch? Email hello@poundofflesh.org