When it comes to saving, South Africa has its back against the wall. The 2014 Finscope survey indicates that there has been an increase in the salaried adult population in 2014. 78% of the adult population earned an average personal monthly income of less than R2 000 in 2014, and only 44% of the salaried individuals have any long-term savings or retirement products. Many are in a spiral of debt compounded by unscrupulous offers of credit.

It is against this backdrop that the South African Savings Institute (SASI), an independent non-profit organization dedicated to developing a robust culture of saving in South Africa, is aggressively pursuing fresh initiatives to drive savings literacy and educate consumers about incentives to promote savings.

SASI strategist, Gerald Mwandiambira, has announced a new initiative, aimed at promoting a savings culture. “We are excited to announce that we will host the inaugural SASI Savings Convention in Soweto during the annual National Savings Month in July.  This will be an annual family day of Savings Literacy at Maponya Mall in Soweto, providing consumers with a platform from where they can receive first-hand guidance on active participation in the savings and investments arena.”

According to Mwandiambira, the SASI Savings Convention is intended to be an annual one-stop platform for productive interaction between the demand and supply side of the financial sector – consumers, practitioners, regulators and policy makers. Follow up initiatives will include- campaigns in communities and universities which will run until September 2015. “Saving is an integral part of financial literacy and we are concentrating on raising awareness on key concepts of money management; educating people on incentives such as the such as the new Tax Free Savings Accounts introduced in March 2015; and helping them to access resources to manage debt.”

SASI has already secured the support of 1Life, Bernina SA, First National Bank, National Treasury, Old Mutual, The AIDS Foundation, The Financial Planning Institute (FPI), The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and The National Association of Stokvels (NASASA) for the Convention and is currently developing further partnerships. “With our partners, we intend to go to the community as responsible South African corporate citizens, to demonstrate our commitment to economic sustainability and financial well-being of the South African consumer,” says Mwandiambira.  “We’re calling on corporate South Africa to support these initiatives aimed at instilling a culture of savings and effective resource management in all spheres of life. It stretches beyond the financial sector to energy, healthcare, FMCG, automotive, and water for example. We will show that saving is indeed a lifestyle choice.”

In addition to the new SASI Savings Convention in July, SASI will be endorsing financial literacy interventions by various organizations. Such an endorsement is necessary in order to highlight to the public, the number of programmes available to them and how to access them.  “SASI stands at a defining moment in its history as it considers the next 15 years of dedicated service to South Africa. The household savings agenda is a key national priority. SASI foresees that, together with the right partners, it can play a significant role over the next decade in taking this agenda further,” says Mwandiambira. “The first Savings Convention will be an important step forward for consumers.”

SASI is inviting interested corporate partners to email info@savingsinstitute.co.za or call +27 11 269 3683 for further information.

Leave a Reply