Citizen Reporter
1 minute read
6 Nov 2017
6:25 am

South African millennials ‘are at risk’ – researcher

Citizen Reporter

In an already challenging economic environment, it remains to be seen if the SA millennial or 'Afrilennial' will survive financially.

Picture: Shutterstock

This is according to a financial wellness researcher, Pieter Rossouw, of Momentum.

Afrilennials, who are the largest and fastest-growing sector of the South African population, have two drawbacks when it comes to their prospects.

“The first is the low level of financial literacy, that is endemic to South African society; and the second is the vast array of financially sophisticated products available to them, many of which aren’t designed to best meet the consumer at a level that’s simple and suited to their needs,” said Rossouw.

“Adding to these challenges, even the concept of money is a lot more abstract for millennials. Their wallets don’t contain money, only plastic. The physical value of money quickly dissolves in a world that’s becoming increasingly virtual.

“As members of the swipe-andclick generation, they often don’t realise how much they are spending and whether or not there is true value in their purchase. If a pair of shoes costs R2 000, they tend not to consider the amount that they are spending relative to the effort and time involved in earning that amount.”

He said these are traits that “all millennials have to some degree, no matter which continent they hail from. This is a generation of digital natives, often defined as having been born between 1982 and 2004, and known for being entrepreneurial, focused and ambitious.

These are all laudable traits, but without an understanding of what it takes to be financially well, their futures will be uncertain. Many Afrilennials must support not only their own but also their wider family, making saving difficult. Roussouw calls them the sandwich generation.

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