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The South African Savings Institute (SASI) announces the launch of its 2007 Festive Season Savings Campaign. This is the first of its kind, and it extends SASI’s South African Savings Month campaign which takes place in July of every year. During and following the last Savings Month campaign, there was an overwhelming demand for an all year-round campaign, other than a once-a-year event. In response to this public demand, the Board of the Institute decided on having three of such campaigns in any one year, including the current Festive campaign.

The Festive Season campaign will be entirely a media based initiative, targetting all income groups.

Why Festive campaign:

Whilst we understand the importance of of this period to individuals, families and households the world over, the Board of SASI also notes, with concern, the extent to which this period raises often unnecessary consumption expenditure. Such consuptino pattern also often lead to high levels of indebtedness. It is this tendency that the Board would like to temper. The message that SASI would like to send out to the public is that as we journey into this season, let us be conscious of the temptations that come with it and spend responsibly.

SASI continues to campaign for increased domestic savings, as it has done over the past six years, particularly at the household level. We are glad to note that, as per the SARB, for the second time in the second quarter of 2007 household saving, as a proportion of GDP, continued to increase. This was as a result of a slowing down in consumption growth of households relative to income growth. The same pattern was observed with the other sectors, namely the corporate and official sectors.

SASI would like to plead with the South African public that we, together, contribute towards the sustenance of this trend. This is particularly important as we observe growing imbalances in the economy, which are characterised by symptomatic increases in important variables to the household budget, such as inflation and interest rates.

Themes:

Over the past two years, SASI has developed and used two key themes that have driven its campaigns and hopefully influenced people in the way in which thay manage their finances and build on their savings performance.

The theme for 2006 was “Wear your Savings Shoes”. The theme for 2007 is “Riding the Rainbow”, which characterises a long term perspective in ones savings, with the hope of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, when one gets to retirement. Both these themes are essential for the changing of consumer behaviour and getting them to concern themselves more about saving for the long term rather than for the short term. This is perfecetly consistent with the policy pronouncements that have recently come out on retirement reform.

However, we do know that some individuals cannot be able to achieve this without assitance. In that regard, in 2007 we have encouraged employer participation in this endevour. We continue to call on employers to assist their employers to gain access to sound saving vehicles. Further, we call on retail outlets to contribute in this initiative by assisting consumers to spend responsibly through responsible advertising and education.

Key tips:

  • As you observe the large and attractive SALE signs, think about the need to SAVE at the same time
  • Make sure that you have budgeted well for your expenditure. What is unaffordable is not to be bought. You will not know until you have udgetted
  • Instead of buying presents, make them. It puts more heart into the spirit of giving
  • Buy no-name brands instead of brand names, the quality not very different and often the same
  • As you spend during this period, think carefully about your financial obligations of the New Year, such as school fees
ELIAS MASILELA

Chairman, SASI


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