Simple tools to make savings a source of happiness for all


July is Savings Month in South Africa, and this year the focus is going to be firmly placed on our country’s youth.   The South African Savings Institute (SASI), with support from Absa and the IDC, will use July Savings Month 2019 to focus on driving awareness around how savings relates directly to happiness, as well as encouraging the development of vital entrepreneurial abilities that will allow young people to create business opportunities to sustain their financial independence.  The core theme will be “#CrazywaystoSave.”


Gerald Mwandiambira, SASI acting CEO, says, “South Africa has 20 million young people aged between 15 to 34, but with a whopping unemployment rate of 52.4%, which is the highest in the world for this population group, the time has never been more critical to urge our youth to save and focus on entrepreneurship.   However, South Africa’s youth are faced with a frustrating lack of available guidance on the most basic of financial information.  South Africa’s household saving rate, which according to Trade Economics slumped from 0.40% to 0.20% in the third quarter of 2018, is a stark indication that parents are ill-equipped to teach their children how to save and create wealth, given their own struggles.”


The Savings Month Launch breakfast on 26 June 2019, facilitated by financial journalist Arabile Gumede, will feature a host of leading voices in finance education in a vibrant panel discussion to spark a national conversation on how everyone can find ways to save.  SASI has partnered with personal finance coach Mapalo Makhu from Women and Finance;  award-winning personal finance journalist Maya Fisher-French; Samke Mhlongo from TNC Wealth Partners; Nicollette Mashile from Financial Fitness Bunny and SASI acting CEO and My Money author Gerald Mwandiambira to provide tangible savings insights.  Usually attended by media, government and financial industry leaders, the launch will for the first time include members of the public via a social media invitation lottery. Social platforms will also host a competition to find South Africa’s most creative and crazy ways to save.


Mwandiambira says this year SASI will also be aligning with the Financial Sector Conduct Authority’s (FSCA) Consumer Education Department (CED) which is rolling out a Youth Financial Campaign in June.  Workshops will be hosted at roadshows in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga to grow awareness on financial management and encourage better financial decision-making amongst our youth.


“At the end of July 2019 it is hoped that South Africans will have developed a stronger awareness of the urgent need to begin equipping young South Africans with basic savings knowledge that can have long-lasting and substantial effects on their happiness, wealth creation abilities and earning power,” says Mwandiambira. “As US economist and Nobel laureate Paul Romer said while attending a conference in South Africa recently, the under-utilisation of South Africa’s youth talent is nothing short of a “human catastrophe”. SASI and its partners are sending a clear message – let’s work together to turn this around.”