Savings Month - an awareness campaign launched by the SA Savings Institute - has the objective of cultivating a culture of saving in South African consumers and raising awareness on the benefits of short, medium and long-term financial planning.
Household saving rate is at a record low of approximately 0,2 percent of disposable income, while the level of household debt as a percentage of household disposable income now stands at 68 percent.
The access and usage of credit continues to grow, despite warnings by the Reserve Bank governor that households should use the opportunity of a low interest rate environment to pay off debt.
This implies that disposable incomes and therefore those individuals' ability to save are low. Yet even among low income households, mashonisas and micro-lenders thrive. Surely, if one has the ability to repay a micro-loan, then one also has the ability to save when not paying a loan.
Postbank has a range of saving packages for individuals who want to start saving. Smartsave is a book-based account and accounts for 54 percent of the bank's capital. A number of banks discontinued their book-based accounts but the opposite applies at Postbank, as it is still one of the most popular products.
Smartsave appeals to people from different walks of life, particularly those based in rural areas. Account holders know exactly how much money they have in their accounts because every transaction is noted in the book.