The low level of saving in South Africa is a good (if troubling) illustration of why better financial education and more accessible, usable financial services are so important. The recently released statistics from the Financial Literacy in South Africa report, undertaken by HSRC on behalf of the FSB reveal that only 50% of South Africans are currently making savings. The same report also revealed that just 37% of the population pay their bills on time, while an even more worrying 69% have no emergency fund or any rainy day savings.
Teaching people about the importance of saving, ensuring they understand the low level of financial support available from the state if they do not save and teaching them exactly how to make savings work for them could save the country an incredible amount of money in the long run.
Yet teaching these valuable lessons is ultimately useless if financial inclusion remains poor. If a high percentage of the population do not have access to financial products which meet their needs, managing money and making meaningful savings becomes virtually impossible.
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