By Michael Hamlyn
Trevor Manuel, South Africa’s finance minister, on Monday gave figures for the number of people who have invested in the RSA retail savings bonds, and for both the number of investments made and the total amount invested.
Giving a written reply to a parliamentary question from Martin Stephens of the Democratic Alliance, the minister said that at March 31 a total number of 26,459 people invested in the bonds that were launched in May 2004. The total number of investments made by these is 54,325, and a total amount of 2.8 billion rand was invested.
He said that there was no target set for the number of people to invest annually, but the plan was to ensure that in future between 5% and 10% of government total debt was in the retail bonds. "This will only be possible once the full range of products has been introduced and the savings message effectively communicated to all South Africans," Manuel said. .
He added that on average 1 million rand to 1.5 million rand had been invested each day since the introduction of the RSA retail savings bonds.
"With the current TV, radio and print campaign, it is believed that more people will understand the features and the unique benefits of the RSA Retail Savings Bonds," he said.
Since the launch of the new marketing campaign, the calls received by the treasury’s help line went from an average of 70 calls per day to between 250 and 300 calls per day.
"The partnership with Pick n Pay as the alternative distribution channel will make retail saving bonds even more accessible to a wider range of potential investors," the minister said.
He said he would be making a further statement on the subject.