SAIS gets involved at grassroots level

By Staff Writer
The South African Savings Institute (SASI) is getting down to business at grassroots level with its latest initiative to raise financial literacy in communities nationwide.

This week (first week of August) the organisation launched its latest community-based effort to help ordinary South Africans secure their financial future.

The initiative is one of several projects to come under the spotlight as National Savings Month builds further momentum.

SASI in collaboration with the Old Mutual financial education team is staging workshops at Mathibestad in Moretele Municipality, North West Province, to help micro enterprises and would-be entrepreneurs in the quest for financial self-sufficiency.

The workshops give practical guidance on how to money management, credit and debt management, how to make a business plan and basic entrepreneurial skills.

Old Mutual is lead sponsor of National Savings Month 2010 and one of several partner organisations that work with SASI on the task of building a culture of saving in South Africa.

Community-based interventions are a point of focus.

Says SASI chief executive officer Elizabeth Lwanga-Nanziri: "We engage with municipal officials and community workers to ensure our workshops meet highly specific needs within each community. Sometimes the principal need is basic information on why saving is important and how to go about it.

"On other occasions, information is required on various types of savings and investments. At Mathibestad, a growing number of small-scale entrepreneurs need help with basic business planning and business registration.

"Thanks to our extensive network of partnerships SASI can coordinate an appropriate response no matter what the need."

Typically, several workshops are staged in a day. At the Mathibestad workshops, Old Mutual specialists will give expert guidance to 25 participants at a time.

Savings Month puts the spotlight on this vital aspect of SASI's work, though the effort continues all year long in all provinces.

*The South African Savings Institute launched Savings Month on July 20, with the theme ‘Save for the Goal: The Path to Recovery'. The event included a keynote address from Ismail Momoniat, the DDG for Economic Policy & International Financial Relations and presentations from partners, sponsors and official bodies, including the Reserve Bank, the Education Department, the IDC, the Banking Association and leading institutions. Old Mutual is the lead sponsor of National Savings Month 2010.

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