The National Consumer Financial Education Committee (NCFEC) has launched a monthly newsletter – Money Smart News, aimed at providing important information to help South Africans become better educated about their finances. The newsletter is part of the Money Smart Week South Africa (MSWSA) annual financial literacy initiative, which is scheduled to take place again in March 2021.
Now more than ever, financial literacy is an ongoing need, and not something that can only happen once a year. Consumers need access to information and education to empower themselves to better manage their money. According to research conducted in April 2020 by consumer reporting agency TransUnion, many South Africans continue to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown on their finances with 79% saying that their household income has been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Unfortunately, a lot of South Africans have during this period also lost part, or all their income leading to more uncertainty about the future of their finances.
“What this pandemic has highlighted is the importance of having savings for unexpected situations. Many South Africans just trying to get by are not currently in a position to save money at all. Even for those who are managing to save, they may not be maximising their savings because savings products available might not suit their needs. Unfortunately, many fall victim to pyramid schemes and other scams,” says Lyndwill Clarke, Head of Department for Consumer Education at the FSCA.
Each month, Money Smart News will tackle a different theme with regards to financial education.
Topics covered in the first issue include how to start saving given the current pandemic; the importance of getting professional advice from an authorised financial service provider or planner; retirement savings and the latest on get-rich-quick and pyramid schemes.
The launch of Money Smart News at this time, will go a long way in creating a financially savvy or better yet – Money Smart South Africa. “Be on the lookout for more details as we motivate and empower South Africans to become more educated about their finances.” – Olaotse Matshane, Chairperson of the NCFEC.
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