SAIA Consumer Education initiative recognised as ‘best practice’
Johannesburg: In its latest infographic on “The importance of financial education in promoting financial inclusion”, the Belgium based Global Federation of Insurance Associations (GFIA) commended the South African Insurance Association (SAIA)’s long-standing consumer education programme, as the “best practice” initiative in Africa and among the top 5 globally. The other four examples mentioned came from the Americas, Europe, Asia and Oceania.
Zanele Gigaba, SAIA Transformation Manager says: “We realise how this has become an industry, policymakers as well as a regulators priority. As the short-term insurance industry in South Africa we remain committed to a holistic financial inclusion strategy that seeks to reach and educate stakeholders of all walks of life.
“Through our interventions with pupils in high schools, students in tertiary institutions and ordinary adults within the targeted consumer market segment, the intention is to ensure that financial education is entrenched at an appropriate stage and; that the contents are relatable and relevant to individuals’ financial needs at that stage.”
SAIA has therefore continued to foster positive partnerships with the public entities such as the Department of Basic Education and the institutions of higher learning in order to successfully advance the objective of reaching the pupils and students. The association has been innovative in increasing the reach for the ordinary current and potential consumers by using media platforms such as the community radio stations, which allow for the use of local languages to convey the messaging to listeners, while they have the opportunity to call in during an interactive session with industry experts on the questions they may have. The association’s tv programme (Next of Next week, which is in its successful 3rd season and will be airing on SABC in the next few weeks to contextualize the contents from a visual perspective.
Themba Palagangwe, General Manager for Transformation and Governance at the SAIA says: “the aim is to pitch our programmes to the right audience level and ensuring the impact of our interventions lead to an improved level of financial literacy within our society. It is imperative that we endeavour to remain innovative with our content development and delivery modes in order to touch and impact on as wider population within the targeted consumer market segment as possible.
“SAIA is also continuously looking for opportunities to collaborate with appropriate partners, including government agencies and other industry bodies, where appropriate, in developing and implementing programmes with a wider range of financial literacy content in order to advance our objectives of delivering world class programmes to our consumers.”
SAIA’s current Consumer Education programmes have a number of themes ranging from motor risk management, motor insurance, budgeting and managing your finances, veld fires and the responsibility that goes with managing an insurance policy. Our delivery platforms also take into consideration the opportunities to use local languages in order to improve financial literacy within our society and broaden financial inclusion within the financial services sector. In the past 10 years, the SAIA has spent over R100 million in consumer education through various channels in South Africa and SAIA members have continued to be the cornerstone of this success through their annual contributions into the SAIA Consumer Education Fund.
SAIA Chief Executive, Viviene Pearson says: “It gives us great pleasure to be recognised as one of the global leaders in consumer education initiatives. Consumer education is an effective way of promoting financial inclusion through providing people with the know-how of how best to choose their financial products and budget their finances.
“Providing financial literacy is one way to empower the general populace and only through knowledge will one be able to take total control of their financial affairs. Understanding one’s financial position is an effective tool in making that final decision on matters of finance,” Pearson concludes.
South African Insurance Association (SAIA)
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