The Accounting Student Council partnered with Absa to teach students on campus about investments and savings
Over 250 students from various fields of study overcrowded room five at the FNB venue at Wits on Thursday, August 17 in the pursuit of learning how to manage their money.
According to the World Bank , financial literacy is becoming increasingly important due to high levels of poverty, inequality, and unemployment. But the lack of data about people who are financially illiterate, makes it difficult to measure how bad the problem is.
However, in 2021, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducted a survey noting that only 42% of adults in South Africa are financially literate. This means that over half of the adult population does not understand basic financial concepts such as interest rates, inflation, and savings.
The event focused on compound growth with Keith Davids, investment specialist at Absa. He encouraged students to start saving and investing as soon as they start working.
Absa representative Nells Mokgahla, said his passion for financial education and freedom inspired him to help organize the event.
“The financial literacy gap keeps widening because of the assumption that upcoming graduates know how to handle their finances but as a responsible bank we wanted to close the gap,” said Mokgahla.
The initial plan was to have 150 final year accounting students; however, the event garnered students from different years of study and faculties, overloading the underestimated venue —some students had to sit on the floor.
The hosts tried to make the session as interactive and engaging as possible by asking the audience questions and giving them gift bags for each correct answer.
Davids told Wits Vuvuzela that the turnout amazed him and served as a testament that more students were eager to be financially literate. “What I loved the most is that there were so many women in the audience compared to the guys, normally it’s the opposite- so I’m excited and proud that people want to learn more about finances,” he said.
Final year student in mathematics and finance, Machuene Mahladisa told Wits Vuvuzela that he simply saw Absa banners outside the venue and decided to join. He said the seminar was informative, especially for young people who are entering the job market. “What shocked me mostly is finding out that less than 20% of South Africans can retire comfortably, so it’s important to invest in retirement annuity at an early age.”
FEATURED IMAGE: Private wealth banker, Tshepang Masilo giving a financial literacy talk at Wits university. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov
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