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Policy Papers and Research

South African Household Wealth Index Q1 2020

"Momentum/Unisa estimates that the real value (expressed in 2010 prices) of South African households’ net wealth decreased by R828.2 billion from the fourth quarter of 2019 (Q4 2019) to Q1 2020. This estimated real quarterly decline is 52.5% more than the previous largest estimated quarterly decline of R542.9 billion, which was registered during the Great Recession (Q3 2008). The loss in household real net wealth – from an estimated R7 043.6 billion in Q4 2019 to R6 215.4 billion in Q1 2020 – can in main be attributed to a sharp decline in the real value of households’ pension funds and other investments. The real value of their pension funds declined by an estimated R427.6 billion over the quarter and that of their other investments by R363.9 billion. These declines were mainly caused by three factors. This is the negative impact of the worldwide Covid19 pandemic; the subsequent lockdown, which in effect incapacitated the world and South African economy; and South Africa losing its investment grade credit rating."

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Source details: Household Financial Wellness Index 2018; Compiled by Mr. Johann van Tonder, Researcher & Economist, Insights Division, Momentum, 081 041 9699 Ms. Jacolize Meiring, Bureau of Market Research, UNISA, 082 354 5777 Prof. Carel van Aardt, Bureau of Market Research, UNISA, 082 950 4325 Prof. Bernadene de Clercq, Department of Taxation, College of Accounting Sciences, UNISA, 083 442 4659


Improving the Financial Literacy of Grade 8 and/or 9 Economic and Management Sciences Teachers in the Western Cape

"The poor performance of learners in the 2017 National Senior Certificate accounting paper has raised concern. One way to improve the results in accounting over time is to ensure that the first introduction of accounting as financial literacy in the senior phase is done properly. The training of Grade 8 and/or 9 financial literacy teachers was therefore the main focus of this study. We investigated whether an intervention (a 2-day workshop aimed to improve teachers' understanding of financial literacy) could be an effective tool to improve the financial literacy of Grade 8 and/or 9 economic and management sciences teachers in the Western Cape."

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Source Details: Authors Mareli Rossouw; Cecileen Greeff;  S. Afr. j. educ. vol.40 n.2 Pretoria May. 2020; ISSN: 2076-3433

Smarter Financial Education: Key Lessons From Behavioural Insights for Financial Literacy Initiatives

"The application of behavioural science in financial education programmes is relatively new, but offers promising insights to design initiatives that take into account the decision-making process of individuals and the biases that are likely to influence their financial decisions. Combining traditional ways of teaching with the insights drawn from behavioural research can create smarter financial education that encourages people to make choices, change behaviour and act in ways that could improve their financial well-being.

This brief document draws on the IOSCO/OECD joint report on “The Application of Behavioural Insights to Financial Literacy and Investor Education Programmes and Initiatives” produced in 2018 to suggest actionable lessons for policy makers (IOSCO and OECD, 2018). It gives a short overview of the ways in which behavioural insights are relevant for financial education and then summarises five key lessons that policy makers can follow, illustrated with the experiences of OECD/INFE members. These should be read in conjunction with the eight conclusions for policy makers described in the joint report and replicated in the Annex of this document."

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Source details: OECD (2019). Smarter financial education: key lessons from behavioural insights for financial literacy initiatives; prepared by Sona Lalayan, Policy Analyst, with oversight by Adele Atkinson, Senior Policy Analyst. Editorial support was provided by Jennah Huxley, all OECD.

Measuring and Profiling Financial Literacy in South Africa

In this article, researchers investigated whether various consumers in South Africa have the skills needed to make important financial decisions. They studied access, use, and attitudes towards financial services in order to compare various demographic and economic characteristics. They concluded that there are definite variations in levels of financial literacy by age group, level of education, province of residence, and race group. Their findings can be used to identify the  areas of emphasis that will best assist in the financial education of various economic groups.

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Source details: South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences; ISSN: (Online) 2222-3436, (Print) 1015-8812; Authors: Elizabeth L. Nanziri Murray Leibbrandt.

Insights from the Standard & Poor's Ratings Services Global Financial Literacy Survey

The Standard & Poor's Ratings Services Global Financial Literacy Survey is the world’s largest, most comprehensive global measurement of financial literacy. It probes knowledge of four basic financial concepts: risk diversification, inflation, numeracy, and interest compounding. The survey is based on interviews with more than 150,000 adults in over 140 countries.

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Source details: Financial Literacy Around the World:Insights from the Standard & Poor's Ratings Services Global Financial Literacy Survey, https://gflec.org/, Authored by Leora Klapper, Annamaria Lusardi, and Peter van Oudheusden, with the support of Jake Hess and Saniya Ansar.

Evaluating Financial Education Programmes: OECD/INFE Stocktake and Framework

The growing policy interest for financial education has highlighted the need to understand whether financial education works, how it works and what are the most appropriate methods for evaluating financial education programmes. Good programme evaluation allows to show whether objectives are being met, to identify elements that can be scaled-up or replicated, and to test different approaches to see which are the most cost efficient.


Read more: Evaluating Financial Education Programmes: OECD/INFE Stocktake and Framework

Financial Services Board

The Financial Services Board (FSB) is an independent institution established by statute to oversee the South African Non-Banking Financial Services Industry in the public interest. Its mission and vision are to promote and maintain a sound financial investment in South Africa.

View website: https://www.fsca.co.za/