Media Release: July is Savings Month
July is savings month in South Africa. During this month, the South African Saving Institute (SASI), consumer protection agencies and the financial service sector join hands in encouraging South Africans to save income for future use.
In order to encourage a culture of savings, the Western Cape Office of the Consumer Protector (OCP) together with other consumer protection agencies will be rolling out educational workshops in communities, schools and businesses with the sole objective of encouraging savings. It is the OCP’s wish that consumers should start saving now in order to build and secure their futures.
Savings amongst South African consumers have been extremely low when compared to other countries – a fact that is exacerbated by a tough economic climate.
According to the Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor only 15% of combined household income goes toward savings, a decline of 6% in the last 6 years. This is a worrying trend which demonstrates that not enough South African citizens are planning effectively for retirement, or for unexpected events, which could place a drain on their financial resources.
Mr Ashley Searle, Head of the OCP at the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, said: “Whilst consumers continue to face wide-ranging challenges such as the rising cost of food, fuel, transport, electricity and other expenses and increased levels of indebtedness, which potentially impacts on their ability to save, postponing savings is not an option as doing so will negatively impact on their lives in the future. Consumers should sacrifice and find ways and means of setting aside some of their money for future use, especially when emergencies arise or when pensionable age is reached.”
The Office of the Consumer Protector will therefore embark on an educational programme during the month of July to acquaint consumers with the importance of savings. These interventions will be carried out via radio programmes, workshops and awareness campaigns across the Province.
Workshops will be carried out at schools, communities, CBOs, NGOs and businesses.
Topics to be covered include the following:
- You and your savings
- You and your money
- How to budget
- You and your accounts
- Drafting a will
For those who are unable to attend these workshops, the OCP would like to offer the following savings tips:
- Start saving consistently for your retirement, from the day you get your first job. Put aside at least 15% of your income every month in a safe investment.
- Save money in other ways. For example, switch off all lights in empty rooms or switch off your geyser when it is not needed. Reducing your electricity consumption will reduce your electricity bill. The savings could be used to start an investment account or a savings plan.
- Reduce your water bill by not wasting water and taking short showers instead of a bath.
- Educate your children about saving from an early age, set them to work for their pocket money and encourage them to save their money in a ‘piggy bank’.
- Start saving for your children’s education as early as you know that you are going to become a parent. This kind of investment can change your child's future.
The Office of the Consumer Protector has been instrumental in educating consumers about their rights and responsibilities in the consumer market and this is just another way that the Western Cape Government wants to assist in making the lives of the Western Cape citizens Better Together.
For more information on the Office of the Consumer Protector Savings Month or to book a workshop with the Office of the Consumer Protector, please contact Phenias Ncube on 021483 9282.
You can also reach the OCP in any of the following ways:
Toll Free number: 0800 007 081
Post/Walk in: Ground floor, Waldorf Building
80 St George’s Mall, Cape Town
Fax: (021) 483 9474