Taking money matters to our children: KZNFLA International Child and Youth Finance Summit – Children speaking out on money matters

All banks should have standardised deposit, withdrawal and even change-of-address forms, as well as simplified “lingo” and child-friendly information, child and youth delegates at the KZNFLA International Child and Youth Finance Summit said at the conference in Durban. .

And the school curriculum should be modernised to include more information about financial education, said teenage and students delegates attending the first International Conference on Child and Youth Finance matters in South Africa.

Traditional teaching methods should still be used, while technology should also be embraced, they said. More emphasis should also be placed on entrepreneurship in the curriculum too.

“Knowledge is power only if applied,” they said in their declaration at the end of the summit, an initiative of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Treasury and members of the KZN Financial Literacy Association.

They were given a loud voice at the summit, with Ina Cronje, the MEC for Finance, saying that the days of seeing and not hearing children belonged to the Victorian era. The young delegates also want banks and the retail sector to work out how the youth, who do not have access to credit cards, can pay for their online purchases with debit cards. And they want more youth-friendly banking and saving products.

They also want different bank tellers for different age groups-the youth, the “grown-ups” and the aged”- saying that the older customers who were often at the front of the queue generally took up more time and asked more questions.

“We are the youth and we want to be heard,” said Ntokozo Mncube of the Coastal College FET Umlazi campus.

Eighteen out of 51 high schools and tertiary students quizzed at the summit kept their savings in bottles to save, the summit heard. Three kept their money under a mattress, one in shoes and two others in their socks, while 10 opted for the bank.

“The majority of the bottle savers were open to persuasion to transfer to banks for safety,” explained student Anne Holding of the University of KZN who summed up at one of the sessions.

A student from Botswana, Thapelo Lesole, pointed out that there was a culture at the end of the month when parents got paid, that they went shopping to the mall with their families.

“Children would beg for toys…and ice-cream, but parents did not say ‘there is a budget; you can have a sweet or an ice-cream, but you can’t have both’.”

Referring to his comments, the MEC asked: “What are we saying to our children? As adults, we have got to get our house in order and lead by example.”

She also urged the teenagers the use the information that they had gained. Cronje, a former teacher, said that she had great faith in the youth.

“If you can’t have faith in youth, you are saying you don’t have faith in the future,” she said.

For more information contact:

Ntokozo Maphisa

Cell: 082 773 0937