Much is said about the level of financial awareness, or the lack of it, concerning the population of South Africa. But why should it be so important and why are so many institutions talking about it?
According to Peter Tshiguvho, the Chief Executive Officer of Metropolitan Retail, without a decent level of financial literacy, people are unable to take full advantage of fiscal inclusivity. But what does this particular piece of financial jargon relate to?
What is financial inclusivity?
Financial inclusivity describes the money market at large. Not stocks and shares or investments, but the money landscape as a whole and all of the various services that are available for people to draw on.
To be able to partake fully in this financial inclusivity, improving financial literacy across the board here in South Africa is key. Because the industry is becoming more aware of this rising need, there are now a number of options that are available for ordinary South Africans can turn to.
The poor state of South African people’s financial awareness
The truth of the matter is that at this point in time, more than half of the South African population (55.5% to be more exact) is classed as being below the national poverty limit. This has been determined in a document published by the World Bank, as anyone earning less than R992 per month.
Realising the importance of teaching people at an early age about the fundamentals of financial literacy, Metropolitan (the financial institution mentioned earlier) themselves run a number of programs. Each is designed to empower young South Africans by helping them to adopt healthy financial habits, and enabling them to develop a positive attitude towards money and how to handle it.
The kickstarz program
One of these programs is something called Kickstarz. An article published in the Leadership-online website describes how this program has been introduced for Grade 11 students at Shakaskraal Secondary School (KwaZulu-Natal).
The article tells about how the youngsters are undergoing money management training with an innovative twist that will assist them with recognising and dealing more effectively with real-life financial situations when they go out into the adult world. The program is based on students starting-up their own companies selling sneakers.
Targeting the young
Metropolitan Retail also intend to launch something for young people, who do not have the cash to be able to join in a formal education program after high school, with a view to making them aware of what options are open to them and to help to bring about African success as a whole.
Educating youngsters in the ways of financial literacy is vital. This is because research has revealed some worrying facts about a large percentage of South African adults. These adults have low levels of fiscal knowledge, they fail to adopt financial patterns that could improve their financial security, and they only think of matters in the short-term.
Entrepreneurism is a valid and successful form of employment
With such a high rate of unemployment here in South Africa, what this Kickstarz program does is to show students that opportunity and advantages that being an entrepreneur can provide. It, in itself, can be considered a valid type of successful employment