GCI launches financial literacy campaign to promote intergenerational wealth creation
Intergenerational wealth-creation and investment company Global Change Investors (GCI) is officially launching its financial literacy campaign online. The guest speaker at the launch was former Statistician-General Dr. Pali Lehola. The campaign is targeted at youth and adults due to the high demand for financial literacy. It aims to instil an urgency to mitigate against financial risk whilst enabling those cooperating in various stokvel initiatives to appreciate the power of numbers in changing the socio-economic landscape and financial profile of our rural and township communities.
“Appreciating these risks and the power of numbers has not been the main focus of the majority of South Africans,” comments GCI Executive Chairperson Brian Ndou. This is anticipated to be a continuous behavioural change campaign running over a period of time because financial literacy is not an event but a lifetime learning goal. The pilot arrangements to implement the 2021 campaign at two schools, two townships and one rural area school are being finalised. This will be in addition to the current initiatives for the existing GCI shareholders and GCI children.
“The more people become financially literate, the more they will understand why initiatives such as promoted by GCI are critical for investment in tangible, profitable ventures. A groundswell of knowledge about money will increase the confidence levels among all our stakeholders, thereby empowering them to recruit new members aggressively,” highlights Ndou. “A preoccupation with get-rich quick schemes has made intergenerational wealth creation unattractive. It is well-known that our communities have lost hundreds of millions in pyramid schemes and false investment promises. Hence GCI has developed a financial literacy campaign in this regard.”
The campaign focuses on two main areas that impact on the financial well-being of both families and individuals, namely the scourge of gambling and borrowing from loan sharks. Many Africans have not capitalised on the networking effect of cooperating individuals and local institutions. “Education is urgently needed to address the role that a savings culture can play in intergenerational wealth creation,” highlights GCI Actuary and Chief Financial Literacy Researcher Tsietsi Ngobese.
The financial services sector is highly regulated in South Africa and requires thorough planning and execution in terms of compliance and protecting investors and community members. Similarly, SMME funding has not attracted many financiers, meaning there is ample space for diligent micro-lending for promising small businesses in township and rural economies.
“GCI is taking action to realise intergenerational wealth-creation opportunities. While there is an increasing appetite in this regard, there is a lack of credible strategies at ground level for our community members to be directly involved in managing their finances. GCI has packaged its ventures into four portfolios capable of creating a dynamic link between rural and urban marketing opportunities,” explains Ndou.
GCI is undertaking several interventions and initiatives. For example, it currently has acquired land parcels in Noodhulp, Bela in Limpopo (4 ha) and in Mmukubyane, North West (30 ha) that will be going into productive usage in the 2020/21 summer season. Noodhulp has been cleared of trees and the initial ploughing for land preparation awaits the first rains. A site inspection has confirmed that the land is suitable for use in integrated aquaponic farming with tilapia fish and organic vegetable production.
A portion of Mmukubyane has been cleared of trees and intensive land preparation is underway for maize and watermelons. A borehole will be drilled and a drip-irrigation system installed upon harvesting of the first produce. Semi-intensive goat farming has also been introduced to take advantage of the extensive grazing land in the area. Such hands-on investment and productive initiatives are at the core of CGI strategy.
GCI has already been in existence for three years, pursuing its mandate of cooperative intergenerational wealth-creating ventures in agriculture and agro-processing, financial services, property development and retail services. By the end of its first year it had already attracted 33 prospective shareholders. Its inaugural AGM was held on 22 September 2018, whereupon it resolved to register a prospective cooperative financial institution. This process requires 200 members bonded via intergenerational wealth creation and is currently underway, reports Ndou. “Financial freedom cannot be outsourced to others, but requires our collective hands-on approach. That is what CGI stands for,” he concludes.