Sandton, 30 June 2016 – The 2016 SASI Savings Month Campaign was launched today at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) by Ismail Momoniat ,Deputy Director-General: Tax and Financial Sector Policy on behalf of the Deputy Minister of Finance Mcebisi Hubert Jonas.
The South African Savings Institute (SASI), an independent non-profit organisation dedicated to developing a robust culture of saving in South Africa, also celebrated its 15th Anniversary at the event.
When SASI was launched in April 2001, then Finance Minister Trevor Manuel expressed his hope that South Africa’s poor savings rate; disparate living standards, lack of financial literacy and poor economic growth would be mitigated by a stronger savings culture in all sectors of the South African population.
This year, SASI celebrates a milestone of service to the South African public in Savings Education, Financial Literacy, Advocacy and Research.
Apart from founding the National Savings Month campaign, which has led to general acceptance of July as savings month, SASI also co-founded with the Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) the Teach Children to Save campaign, now known as Starsavers, the largest initiative to educate children on saving in South Africa.
SASI Chairperson Prem Govender applauded all partners for their dedication and support. “Very early in our existence we realised that we could not succeed without joining forces with other like-minded organisations,” she said. “So, we formed partnerships to promote the importance of building a strong savings culture in South Africa.”
A panel of experts and partners including Mr Cas Coovadia, MD of the Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) and Basil Maseko of National Treasury, and Janina Slawski, Director of Marketing and Distribution at Old Mutual Investment Group, discussed the evolution of savings in South Africa over the last 15 years and noted successes, challenges as well as possible future interventions.
SASI’s Acting CEO Gerald Mwandiambira noted that SASI also launched what was at the time the first index to track savings, the SASI Savings Barometer. “This tool highlighted the need for further savings data and research and many current indices were indeed inspired by our barometer.”
The Old Mutual Savings & Investment Monitor research is one such credible data resource, keeping influential players and the market abreast of the attitudes and behaviours of working metropolitan households when it comes to savings and investing. The next update of the Old Mutual Savings & Investment monitor research findings will be released to the market on 5 July 2016 and can be accessed at www.oldmutual.co.za/savingsmonitor.
Old Mutual’s Janina Slawski said: “Our partnership with SASI is a valuable endorsement of all our financial education efforts, and we believe that together we’re in a strong position to continue to improve the country’s savings habits, for the benefit of individuals and the economic future of South Africa.”
John Manyike, Old Mutual Head of Financial Education, shared: “Recent statistics reveal a shocking 214% increase in consumers aged 21 to 25 applying for debt review from 2014 to 2015.
“These statistics highlight the fact that young South Africans are increasingly relying on credit to provide for themselves and their families’ basic needs, and indicate a growing culture of people living way beyond their means. This credit-funded lifestyle, promoted by popular culture, exposes people to the risk of getting trapped in a cycle of short-term debt from an early age. A key reason for the increase in credit addiction is the low level of financial literacy among young South Africans. To break the cycle of generational debt and a low savings culture in SA, it is imperative that financial literacy be entrenched in our population from as young as possible,” said Manyike.
“At Old Mutual we believe that the first step towards financial empowerment is being able to access the right financial education. That’s why we’re committed to playing our part in positively transforming our country, and its people, through the effective sharing of financial knowledge.”
The theme this year for Savings Month is simply “Celebrating Savers and Savings”. The SASI 2016 July National Savings Month launch will be celebrated throughout the month of July with various events and media communications, including online, print, radio and television.
Thembi Makhaye Victor Sibeko
Cell. 061 107 7881 Cell. 081 311 4276
For more information on the breakfast launch please contact the above.
For more information, please contact:
KEDIBONE MOLOPYANE |Communications Manager
Old Mutual Emerging Markets Group Communications
+27 (0)11 217 1755 (telephone)
+27 (0)11 217 1950 (fax)
071 364 3479 (cell)