Failentines: 69% of South Africans Won’t be Getting any(thing) this February 14!
Photo Cred: Gumtree

Here are some free ways to celebrate V day, and to show your love and affection without it costing a cent!


Johannesburg, South Africa (11 February 2021) – South Africans are going to be showing their love more in kind and less in gifts, flowers and treats this year according to a recent Gumtree poll, which revealed that nearly 70% of Mzansi won’t be spending a cent on their crush for Valentine’s Day.

However, a generous 10% of lovestruck South Africans will spoil the object of their affections to the tune of more than R5,000.00 – music to their ears (and hearts) in these, particularly heart-breaking times.

Just over 16% will find up to R1,000.00 to spend on their true love, while 5% will be splashing out on a gift or experience valued between R1,000.00 and R5,000.00.

“It’s certainly not that South Africans aren’t romantic – Valentine’s Day spend reached an all-time high in the country in 2019,” says Gumtree’s Estelle Nagel. “However, budgets are so much tighter in 2021 due to the current tough economic climate. 

Respondents reinforced this, with one saying ‘It’s all I have though, if I had more I’d make it rain on her’, and another saying ‘I’m always broke on the day’.

“Those who might have otherwise plucked up the courage to invite their Valentine to a party or other themed event don’t have that option in this time of social distancing and a prohibition on social gatherings,” she adds. “However, those who intend doing something sweet and personal like a romantic picnic should plan ahead of time, because they won’t be able to buy bubbles or romantic red wine on the day.” 

South Africa’s not the only country seeing a slow-down on Valentine’s Day spending. In the US, consumers plan to spend $32 (about R475) less than they budgeted last year.

Most are opting for home-cooked meals rather than eating out, and many who previously bought gifts for co-workers won’t be doing so, as they’re working at home. Similarly, parents who used to buy gifts for their child’s class will no longer do so, either because classes are now virtual, or because there are much stricter food safety rules in place.

Even if you don’t have the budget to blow on a Valentine’s Day gift or experience, Nagel suggests these free ways to celebrate the day, and to show your love and affection without it costing a cent:

  • Visit The Wilds in the heart of Johannesburg – recently revitalised with boosted security and magnificent art by James Delaney, this is a great venue for a romantic stroll, that’s particularly lush after the recent rains.
  • Browse the art galleries in Rosebank, Johannesburg, including the Everard Read Gallery, the Goodman Gallery, Circa on Jellicoe, and nearby Gallery Momo.
  • Wander through the glorious Durban Botanic Gardens, Africa’s oldest botanic garden and the city’s oldest public venue, or enjoy the serenity of the Durban North Japanese Gardens.
  • You could spend the day on Durban’s world-famous beach – or you could cycle or stroll along the promenade, stopping for a chat and a coffee or lunch along the way.
  • Do a free city walking tour of the Bo Kaap, City Centre, or District Six, with @capetownfreewalkingtours
  • Learn more about sustainable community living at the Oranjezicht Market, open every Saturday and Sunday.

The Beatles were on the money with their song ‘Can’t buy me love’, and 2021 is already showing itself to be the year that South Africans can win at demonstrating their love by being imaginative and thoughtful, coming up with creative and inexpensive ways to woo their crushes.

Sources: Gumtree | Failentines
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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