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Exercise your ‘right’ to Financial literacy

12 March 2017 FINANCE


Mxolisi Mhlongo

The South African economic structure has arguably many ripple effects from Apartheid. Most South Africans have expressed the need for financial education in public schools over the years but the Department of Education has only initiated a programme in 2017.

Entrepreneur Vusi Thembekweyo complained about Financial literacy in Finance Indaba Africa 2016, where most young black South Africans come to him for business finance but they lack skills to grow their businesses. “”If a young black person, from rural or township South Africa gets 33% in Maths literacy it simply means they will never be able to read an income statement, let alone the theory of  Pythagoras””. Vusi believes the South African economy has to be deracialized and our leaders should understand that Entrepreneurs are not made but born.

The Department of Education has partnered with Absa Bank to improve financial management skills of thousands of education officials and members of school governing bodies at public schools across the country.

So how do ordinary South Africans achieve Financial literacy?

* If you are struggling with debt and can no longer afford to pay your bills you must consider speaking to a financial adviser at your bank.

*Make a “Bills” Calendar if you have trouble staying organised with paying bills, make a “bills” calendar showing when each bill is due.  Review it once a week and pay the bills due for that week.

* Begin paying off your debt once you’re established. Whether it’s credit card debt or debt left on your mortgage, having debt can seriously cut into your ability to save. Start with debt that has the highest interest rate.

* Start by putting away as much of your expendable (excess) income as possible. Make savings a priority in your life. Even if your budget is small, tweak your finances so that you save greater than 10% of your total earnings.

The South African Human Rights Commission also has focus areas and programmes such as the  Financial Management Programme to help South Africans build a healthy credit profile.


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