National Treasury and the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) have launched Money Smart Week South Africa 2022 (MSWSA 2022), which will take place from 29 August until 4 September 2022.
MSWSA 2022 is an initiative of the National Consumer Financial Education Committee (NCFEC).
The NCFEC was established to secure active involvement, collaboration and coordination of various stakeholders in consumer financial education and is chaired by National Treasury.
The objective of the launch is to create awareness around the campaign which aims to motivate, empower, and educate South Africans about their financial well-being.
Delivering a keynote address during the launch on Thursday, Commissioner of the FSCA, Unathi Kamlana, encouraged previous and prospective participants to join the MSWSA 2022 campaign.
Kamlana said that there is no better time for one to build their future and be smart about their money.
He gave the global and local economic backdrop and difficulties that South African consumers face in 2022.
He said that most South Africans are under severe economic pressure, which worsened with the pandemic and the implementation of lockdown measures.
“Effective financial inclusion strategies supported by consumer awareness and education programmes can really help drive financial wellness. Many of us need to be weaned off excessive, unhealthy and disruptive reliance on credit,” Kamlana said.
He said that the Smart Week South Africa comes at an opportune time.
“This much needed intervention and collaboration between the private and public sector to take consumer financial education to the people provides an opportunity for consumers to acquire information and knowledge on how to overcome their financial challenges especially when under heightened pressure and learn how to make better and more informed financial decisions,” he said.
Kamlana emphasised that an informed financial consumer is an empowered citizen; and it becomes their own best protection in an increasingly complex financial environment and tough economic backdrop.
“An informed, financially literate consumer is an empowered citizen. So taking financial education to the people is a paramount duty not only for us as regulators, but also financial institutions,” he said.
He said that the FSCA is ready and fully committed to assist in the post-lockdown economic recovery, fulfilling its regulatory mandate including educating and protecting financial customers.
“Platforms such as what we are launching today have a significant impact on the lives of consumers. I would like to encourage all our stakeholders – especially those in the financial sector to register their activities on the MSWSA22 platform and participate fully in all the initiatives to help increase our collective reach on how to deal with money matters effectively and wisely,” he said.