Point of view: Sanlam Foundation partners with WaFunda to upskill youth on financial education

It’s critical to make financial education innovative, relatable, and accessible. Picture: Supplied

It’s critical to make financial education innovative, relatable, and accessible. Picture: Supplied

Published May 18, 2024


In a bid to increase financial literacy among the youth, the Sanlam Foundation and WaFunda have partnered to provide 20 000 young people with free access to Blackbullion South Africa; a youth-focused digital financial education platform.

According to Sanlam, in a nation where  51% of the population is financially literate, it’s critical to make financial education innovative, relatable, and accessible.

WaFunda is a for-profit social impact enterprise focused on enabling and delivering education, training and learning, entrepreneurial and work programmes, and educational financing to young people.

Blackbullion describes itself as a global, award-winning financial well-being platform used by a million young people across the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

WaFunda founder and CEO Leana de Beer said: “The initiative sets the stage for a future where critical and life-changing financial knowledge is no longer in the hands of a few, and the ability to make informed financial decisions and achieve self-sufficiency is accessible to every young South African.”

Sanlam Foundation head Nozizwe Vundla said the partnership gives a unique opportunity to economically empower thousands of young South Africans, to help bridge the current financial education divide.

“This aligns with our north star, and we hope to see it make a material difference in these young people’s lives. Mastery of personal finance skills unlocks independence, socio-economic inclusion, and a future-oriented mindset, where an individual can begin to build wealth with a long-term view,” Vundla said.

She said as the largest non-banking financial services provider in Africa, Sanlam believes that financial education is the cornerstone of its promise to empower generations to be financially confident, secure, and prosperous.

“Financial literacy is key to improving positive financial behaviour and ensuring financial resilience and prosperity. This is why the Sanlam Foundation continues to partner with organisations that help us upskill individuals through facilitated Consumer Financial Education programmes. Our Foundation reached 38 934 CFE (Consumer Financial Education) beneficiaries in 2023, and this new initiative amplifies this, in a very real and tangible way,” she said.

De Beer said since financial literacy is not part of the curriculum in the country, this has led most young people to be financially illiterate.

“Understanding personal financial management empowers individuals with the necessary tools to navigate today’s increasingly complex financial systems with confidence. Some 75% of Blackbullion South Africa users cited it as their primary source of financial knowledge. It’s a crucial life skill for making good decisions and increasing financial upward mobility,” she said.

How the platform works:

Blackbullion South Africa is a financial education platform, which comprises interactive courses and tools to equip users with essential skills to manage their money. It’s engaging, easy to use, and data-lite, making it ideal for young South Africans.

“It covers foundational financial concepts such as saving, budgeting, investing, and managing debt, through short, impactful lessons that encourage healthy financial habits and behaviours.

“These core capabilities give emerging generations the resilience and knowledge to navigate decision-making in a country known for debt and conspicuous consumption. To combat South Africa’s notoriously low household savings rate, it’s imperative to instil solid financial understanding, so people save and invest, whenever they can,” Sanlam Foundation said.

How to apply:

The partnership between Blackbullion South Africa and the Sanlam Foundation provides an excellent opportunity for educational institutions and youth organisations to gain free access for their beneficiaries to financial education. Interested organisations can contact Blackbullion South Africa via https://www.wafunda.com/blackbullion.

* Maleke is the editor of Personal Finance