July is SAVINGS month
The Savings Institute of South Africa has designated July as the annual “Savings Month” on the South African calendar.
The purpose of this initiative is to challenge consumers, to strive towards living within their means and to reinforce positive financial behavior.
Research has shown that more than 80% of middle-income consumers (those who earn between R15 000 and R42 000 per month) have no or limited savings that they are able to access within seven days in case of an emergency. Around 27% have no emergency savings, and 56% have savings amounting to less than one week’s worth of take-home pay.
Consumer protection agencies across South Africa have therefore combined their efforts in aiming to instill a culture of saving among our citizens, in order to promote the financial well-being of all South African consumers. This is especially in light of the global financial crisis that is affecting many ordinary consumers throughout the world.
The Office of the Consumer Protector (OCP) within the Western Cape will therefore intensify its focus on Financial Literacy training as well as how the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) assists consumers. Some of the aspects that the campaign will focus on are as follows:
· How to compile a budget;
· How to manage your bank accounts;
· Debt management:
· How to manage your loan(s);
· Challenging consumers to set achievable goals and compile a purpose driven savings plan.
However, the Western Cape will go beyond what is recommended and also focus on the important provisions of the CPA. These provisions predominantly deal with the rights which consumers have in terms of the CPA. The celebration of Savings Month comes at an apt time since the experience of increased pressure on especially the lower income households. The economic instability that we are currently facing is forcing authorities to intensify their efforts in equipping ordinary citizens with skills to enhance their economic sustainability.
For further information and to request Consumer Awareness and Financial Literacy Workshops, contact: Mr. Phenias Ncube: 021 483 9282 or access the OCP guides HERE for quick access to information.
To lodge a complaint, dial the OCP toll-free number: 0800 007 081