July is National Savings Month
- Promote debate around key aspects of saving,
- Raise awareness of the benefits of short, medium and long term planning
- Build relationships with key partners to leverage future opportunities
- Foster a culture of saving within a local and international context; and
- Complement the messaging being generated through the social security and retirement reform process, to make it meaningful and relevant to the youth as well. This will encourage them to start saving early in life, rather than leaving too late.
- Get consumers to move from ennui into action.
SASI invites all NGOs, community organizations, media owners, educational organizations, financial services companies, trade unions and government departments to embrace the idea.
The Path to Recovery
The recent global crisis has left many economic agents financially wounded. The crisis exposed the vulnerabilities of unemployment, poverty and debt levels of many economies. South Africa lost almost one million jobs, crippling households, businesses and bringing down the country’s growth levels for the period. The job losses translated into constrained household savings as people’s disposable incomes reduced substantially amidst high debt to disposable income levels, rising dependencies as unemployment rose. Thus, while the recession is behind us, many households and businesses remain liquidity trapped as they struggle to adjust their balance sheets. Add to this, the electricity hikes, high food prices, etc, and the challenge to gain financial freedom gets even more difficult!
In his 2010/11 budget speech, the Minister of Finance, the Hon. Pravin Gordhan outlined government’s strategy to help various economic agents regain financial freedom. The Chairman and the Board members of SASI welcomed this strategy and are encouraged to pursue our mandate even more aggressively. SASI warns however, that each sector, businesses and individuals have a different path to take to come out the economic downturn.
Thus the theme for this year’s National Savings Month is “Save for the Goal – the Path to Recovery”. We call on all South Africans to focus on financial recovery as the Goal for the year. The trick to a faster recovery and thus the way to improve the country’s savings outlook lies in adjusting consumer behaviour and business practices. Being prepared for uncertainties such as these recent shocks, underpins the essence of saving and financial literacy remains crucial in developing a sustainable savings culture.