Study: Many South Africans ill-equipped to make sound money decisions

Thursday, March 30, 2017

JOHANNESBURG – A considerable portion of South African adults may not be adequately equipped to make key financial decisions, a new financial literacy study has found.

While there was broad evidence that South Africans had a positive attitude towards saving, personal and macroeconomic realities often hindered their savings behaviour, Benjamin Roberts, senior research manager at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), said.

Roberts was speaking at the release of key highlights from the financial literacy section of the 2015 South African Social Attitudes Survey at the Sowetan Dialogues. Conducted by the HSRC in November and December 2015 on behalf of the Financial Service Board (FSB), just shy of 3 000 respondents were interviewed during the latest survey round. The research was designed to be nationally representative of South Africans age 16 years and older.

According to the study, the level of financial literacy among adult South Africans tends to be in the low to moderate range on average, with a score of 55 out of 100. The figure has remained fairly stable over time when compared to past iterations of the research (see table below).

Source: Money Web (link opens in a new window)

Base of the Pyramid, financial inclusion