South Africans rely on others to get by

A new survey has revealed that many South Africans can rely on friends and family members in financial emergencies, and a majority had access to credit if needed.

Sanlam launched its first Sanlam Financial Confidence Index today, an annual index which assesses the financial confidence levels of the country’s adult population. 

Sanlam’s study surveyed over 1,500 respondents, representing the adult South African population with a monthly income of R1,000 or more.

It found that only 35% of South Africans trust their financial abilities and that older age groups had the lowest levels of self-trust.

However, the survey also revealed that the majority (67%) of South Africans surveyed exhibited the courage to negotiate prices and repayment terms.

This indicates either a certain level of assertiveness in managing their financial matters or necessity-based negotiation pertaining to tight economic circumstances.

One encouraging trend the survey revealed was the eagerness of nearly 70% of respondents to upskill themselves with the goal of increasing their earning power.

Dr Mavis Mazhura, an international behavioural science and performance specialist, said it is encouraging to see high levels of awareness regarding financial knowledge gaps and financial beliefs. 

“While awareness is progress, this needs to translate into financial learning goals and education as learning about money boosts financial confidence,” she said. 

“This is where financial services organisations have a key role to play.” 

She also says there may be a flip side to the coin. “In the financial resilience dimension, people generally still have a low level of trust in their financial abilities, so awareness can be self-limiting.”

When it comes to financial support networks, the survey showed that 52% of respondents had access to credit if needed. 

Similarly, 52% felt they could rely on friends and family in financial emergencies. 

Additionally, 43% of respondents believed they could turn to their social circles to gain financial knowledge, indicating the importance of informal networks in acquiring financial insights.


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