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Building Financial Resilience in Challenging Times

The Consumer Financial Vulnerability Index Q2 2023(CFVI) report published by Momentum and Unisa1 highlights that South Africans have been grappling with financial vulnerability for an extended period, with various economic factors contributing to this predicament.

Financial struggles amidst rising costs

As South Africa grapples with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and a challenging economic environment, many households are facing financial stress. The CFVI report highlights a persistent state of financial vulnerability that has gripped South Africans for an extended period. Rising interest rates, high inflation, load shedding, and soaring petrol prices are key contributors to this vulnerability.

Key strategies for financial resilience

To combat these challenges and build financial resilience, several strategies are recommended:

Insurance and savings: According to a study2 published in the International Journal of Bank Marketing, insurance and retirement savings are potent tools for enhancing financial resilience. Access to these instruments, including both formal and informal options, serves as a financial safety net during times of need.

Gender-inclusive policies: Addressing the gender gap in financial vulnerability is crucial. Women, in general, face higher financial vulnerability than men. Designing policies and interventions that improve access and use of financial services among women can promote gender-neutral and equitable financial access.

Closing disparities: Racial and geographic disparities in financial resilience should be addressed through national policies, such as financial inclusion strategies. Clear targets for closing these gaps are essential to ensuring equal access to financial products and services.

Uptake of insurance: Encouraging the uptake of life and medical insurance can help households navigate unexpected crises, providing a crucial safety net in challenging times.

Caution with retirement provisions: Premature access to retirement savings, particularly for consumption-driven purposes, should be discouraged to prevent financial vulnerability during retirement years.

By promoting financial resilience, South African households can better navigate the turbulent economic waters, protect their mental well-being, and safeguard their finances during challenging times.


While every reasonable effort is taken to ensure the accuracy and soundness of the contents of this publication, neither the writers of the articles nor the publisher will bear any responsibility for the consequences of any actions based on information or recommendations contained herein. Our material is for informational purposes.

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