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South Africans not saving enough

Many South Africans still battle to manage their finances, the SA Savings Institute (Sasi) said on Wednesday.

“South Africans still count on the state or a neighbour to bail them out of their financial woes,” Sasi chairwoman Prem Govender said at the launch of Sasi's savings month campaign in Johannesburg.

She said South Africans needed to take charge of their lives by saving.

“The current domestic economic situation with slow growth and inflation at the top of its band, has exposed South Africans' vulnerabilities in terms of their income, expenditure, savings and debt.”

Household savings as a percentage of disposable income had fluctuated between 2.7 percent in 1991 and -0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

“Debt servicing hit a high at 81 percent in 2008 and continued to remain this high.

“South Africa is also the third worst of all countries surveyed when it comes to speaking to our children about money,” said Govender.

South Africa's gross saving rate was 20 percent of gross domestic product in 2011/12, compared to China's of 54 percent, India's of 34.7 percent and Russia's of 24.7 percent.

Sasi has appointed July as savings month, with the theme of “Save Now”. - Sapa

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