A programme to empower KwaZulu-Natal youth to become more astute with money management forms part of a robust financial literacy campaign by Ithala SOC Limited. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN - A programme to empower KwaZulu-Natal youth to become more astute with money management forms part of a robust financial literacy campaign by Ithala SOC Limited.

Over 300 grade seven and 12 learners from Ndongeni Senior Primary School in Umlazi, south of Durban, and Mzuvele High School in KwaMashu, north of Durban, were enlightened on financial matters by Ithala volunteers and employees.

Starsaver is a national savings campaign adopted as an annual programme championed by the Banking Association of South Africa and the broader financial sector, with the aim of teaching children to save in order to foster a culture of savings.

The programme highlights the important role that volunteer bankers and financial sector professionals can play in educating our nation’s youth to become lifelong savers.

"Financial literacy is a skill that can be learned. Through the programme we teach children the basic concepts of saving to inspire them to become lifelong savers," said Danny Zandamela, Chief Executive of Ithala SOC Limited.

He added, "As a financial services provider mandated to serve ordinary South Africans, we see financial literacy as critical to financial inclusion". 

The programme covers the basic concepts of saving:

1. Reasons to save, budgeting to save;
2. Understanding the difference between needs and wants;
3. And where to save;
4. Create awareness about the value of money and the importance of savings;
5. Promote financial literacy; and
6. Assist learners to appreciate the power of choice.

Lessons are designed to teach children how to:

1. Create and understand budgets;
2. Differentiate between needs and wants;
3. Track daily expenses;
4. Set realistic goals and plan accordingly;
•    Learn how to make saving money part of their lives;
•    Get tips on safe and secure banking;
•    Learn about financial dignity; and
•    Appreciate Entrepreneurship.

Thoba Mhlongo, an accounting teacher at Mzuvele High School said, "The presentation was well-received and highlighted important facts about saving and how to spend money wisely. It will benefit the learners greatly". 

Siyanda Msomi, visual arts teacher and head of department at Mzuvele High School, said, "This visit was amazing. The Ithala initiative truly enlightens minds and positively influences the attitudes of learners. Some learners were not aware of the importance of having a budget in place before spending, how to save money and why you have to save money". 

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