Old Mutual has partnered with the South African Savings Institute (SASI) to bring financial education to rural and peri-urban communities in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Free State and Gauteng. Called ‘Financial Knowledge, save your Future’, the financial literacy community campaign aims to raise awareness around the lack of savings and the impact this has on the country’s economy.
SASI and Old Mutual will use community workshops to help under-privileged South Africans, particularly women and young people, to manage their money better.
The head of financial education at Old Mutual, John Manyike, explained that Old Mutual had recognized the role financial literacy can play in improving the state of savings in South Africa. “Our partnership with SASI will help us extend free financial education to an important segment of the South African population,” he said.
The latest Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor found that more and more South African households are caught between their limited incomes and their deep desire to save for their own financial future and that of their children. The Old Mutual financial education programme, ‘On the Money’, uses the memorable imagery and characters of The Big FIVE animals to explain the key principles of good money management and show people how to get out of debt and start saving.
The CEO of the SASI, Elizabeth Lwanga-Nanziri, said: “We can’t overstate the importance of the link between personal savings habits and economic growth”. As a country, we need to understand that our individual and collective approach to saving will have a long-term impact on the economic prospects of the nation. The more South Africa saves, the more we can invest in infrastructure projects and the less we need to rely on foreign investors.
South Africa is now at a point where each one of us should view saving as a necessary obligation. Our future, our children’s futures depend on our ability to improve our levels of saving.
Head of research at Old Mutual, Lynette Nicholson, said the current findings are troubling, but can be addressed through financial education. “A worrying 83% of parents have no idea what their children’s education will cost, and the use of education policies has declined from 31% of all savings vehicles in July last year to 19% this year”.
The ‘Financial Knowledge, save your Future’ campaign will be rolled out over a period of six months.