Saving for Tomorrow: Does the Level of Financial Literacy in the South African Working Class Matter?

Matwale Reon Matemane


Financial literacy has been identified in previous studies as an area that has not been researched extensively in South Africa. This is particularly true for the working class of black South Africans, who have been previously disadvantaged and were excluded from the mainstream economy and financial services under the apartheid regime. Lower savings and over-indebtedness in this group can be attributed to lower levels of financial literacy. The aim of this study is to examine financial literacy of black South Africans with a commerce tertiary qualification working in Pretoria and Johannesburg, based on descriptive research and structured questionnaires. In total, 171 participants who work in different sectors of the economy and who live in Gauteng were surveyed. The study found that although people with a commerce tertiary qualification are more financially literate than those with non-commerce tertiary qualification, black South Africans nevertheless are less financially literate than their coloured, Indian and white counterparts. Additionally, financial literacy is a significant predictor of individuals’ saving habits.


financial literacy, savings, commercial, tertiary education, South Africa, Gauteng.

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