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Nokuzola Ngubane

One of Mzansi’s leading bank, Nedbank has set a good precedence by educating South African masses about the importance of saving money.

This was evident during this Financial Services Group launch of its novel Wall of Whispers activation recently held at the Mr Price Court in Sandton City .

According to the Group, the initiative was triggered by the fact that July is Savings Month on the South African calendar and to mark the importance of saving in a country with one of the worst savings rates in the world.

 In case you are still in the dark, The Nedbank Wall of Whispers features five personas that impart savings advice in the form of a whisper, giving visitors valuable guidance on savings and investment and on how to start saving in a conversational, quirky and educational manner in the form of a whisper.

In a terse statement the Bank also reiterated that “Putting aside a sum of money in a systematic manner can help people steer their way out of many hurdles and obstacles in life and ensure that families have something to fall back on in case of an unfortunate event. It is important for consumers to understand that savings can secure their future and enable them to live a more fulfilling life.”

On the sidelines, Buli Ndlovu, Nedbank’s Executive Head of Marketing for Retail and Business Banking told this publication they were going full steam ahead in rolling out this educational campaign countrywide.

“We are so intentional about how customers can make better money choices, better ways to borrow and spend money and better ways to save and invest. We are targeting every single South African serious about better money choices.

Pressed about who coined the phrase, she said, “This was coined by the bank PR team. It’s a Nedbank owned property and a big idea for savings month. Our stance as a bank, we are incredible clear our business can never thrive in a society that is weak and an economy that is ailing. It is incumbent upon us to play a role in systematic transformation this is captured through our purpose. This is our super power. We are using our financial expertise to do good for individuals, families and society, Ndlovu argued”

Sisandile Cikido, Head of Retail Investment, is on record saying “The good news is you do not need a fortune to start saving or making smart investments. It only takes a small deposit or monthly amount to grow your investment, but many people delay getting started because they feel they are not earning enough, they are paying off debt, they don’t know how to stick to a budget, their expenses are too high, or they simply do not have a goal in mind. The reality is that everyone has to start saving somewhere.”

“Understanding that education is vital in changing perceptions, our Wall of Whispers aimed to educate consumers about the importance of changing their financial behaviour, breaking old habits and excuses that get in the way of financial stability, and establishing new, healthy financial habits that pave the way for a better future, “ said Cikido.

At a recent panel discussion on savings, Gerald Mwandiambira, Acting CEO of the South African Savings Institute, advised people to live their own lives, and not try to keep up with the unrealistic lifestyles they see on social media, as this will land them in debt.

Nokuzola Ngubane

Executive for Financial Wellness & Advisory at Nedbank,  Wendy Selebi  is on record arguing  saving is not impossible. “You just have to have a vision of what you are saving for, and then set your goals. Once you know exactly why you are saving, she said, it becomes easy to commit to saving.”

The panel also raised the importance of teaching children about money from an early age and getting them started on goal-oriented saving. They can be incentivised to begin a positive money journey by earning pocket money through doing household chores. When the time is ripe, opening the child’s first savings account can be celebrated as a big deal.

Mwandiambira warned that young people need to understand that at least 20% of their salaries needs to be put aside to fund their retirement. All the panellists echoed this view: start saving as soon as you can, and if you haven’t, start now! It’s never too late.

Kantar Consulting Division Director Nicole Shapiro said it’s important to research what products are out there and find what speaks to you and aligns with your goals. “While saving is all about discipline, we need to realise that fun is also a big part of it,” she added. “Put strategies in place to track your progress, and then really enjoy spending the money you have saved on that item or trip, or whatever it is your heart desires.

“Because the world of finance is so complex, it pays to have an expert on your side. Your bank is a good place to start, and a consultant can help you find the right product for you.

As the bank that prides itself on being “money experts who do good”, Nedbank commissioned the Wall of Whispers activation to call on consumers to take their money seriously with the bank that takes their money seriously. Whether it’s for the short, medium or long term, there are savings options that will cater to everyone’s financial goals.


  • Nedbank Group is a financial services group in South Africa offering wholesale and retail banking services as well as insurance, asset management and wealth management.
  • According to research conducted by Kantar, commissioned by Nedbank, saving money is in the top three financial goals for South Africans as saving money is one of the essential aspects of building wealth and having a secure financial future. However, while 70% of the population want to save, they feel that they are unable to do so.
  • July is the seventh month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and the fourth month to have a lengthy of 31 days.
  • It was named by the Roman Senate in honour of Roman general Julius Ceasar in 44 BC, It being the month of his birth.

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