Financial Education in South Africa - Overview of key initiatives and actors

This study aims to provide an overview of what is happening in South Africa in this field. It also aims to identify entry points to improve financial literacy as a stepping stone towards greater financial soundness. The study is by no means exhaustive, however it can be seen as a starting point towards creating a more systematic overview of the key actors, initiatives and frameworks linked to financial education in South Africa.

In 2015, the International Labour Organization (ILO) commissioned a study to take stock of financial education initiatives in South Africa, as a way to identify the main actors, stakeholders, target groups, delivery channels and - where possible- indications of outreach. In addition to providing an overview of the situation on the ground, the study seeks to identify opportunities for increasing the financial literacy skills among South Africans. Financial education is an important part of the ILO Social Finance Programme interventions towards enhancing financial inclusion, as it aims to empower the working poor to make more informed financial decisions at the household or business level. It strengthens the behaviour among various target groups - such as youth, women, small entrepreneurs, migrants and salaried workers - towards better budgeting and planning, increased savings, more prudent spending and better-informed borrowing. The Social Finance Programme aims to combine financial education with other interventions, such as the creation of an enabling environment for financial inclusion, responsible lending and the development of more demand-driven, accessible and affordable financial services, as a way to enhance financial inclusion of the working poor and other vulnerable groups.