The message at the Phumlani Community Hall was loud and clear: "Manage your debt or your debt will manage you" and "You cannot wish your debt away".
This was the message of the Financial Education Summit taken to Hluhluwe community, in the Umkhanyakude District by KZN Treasury working with the Office of The Premier in a bid to assist over-indebted government employees and to rein them in from plunging into more debt.
Hundreds of government employees became the lucky beneficiaries of a wide-ranging financial education roadshow held in Hluhluwe on Tuesday, 14 August 2018.
The objective of the roadshow, led by the Provincial Treasury and Office of the Premier, is to educate communities about the significance of managing personal and household budgets in order to avoid financial distress.
KZN Treasury head of department Simiso Magagula stressed that one of the biggest challenges facing families and individuals was failure to budget, which resulted in detrimental financial woes.
"We really need to stress the issue of budgeting. For example, as a government, we cannot bring out any service if we fail to budget. We do budget every year and make adjustments in order for us to be able to manage our finances. This is so that you are paid your salaries on time and service providers to the state are paid as well," said Magagula.
The roadshow and its facilitators discussed a range of issues which took into consideration escalating living costs and spiralling food prices, petrol prices, VAT and the general slow pace of economic growth.
"We all know that due to one salary stream we end up feeling the salary is not enough and this leads to debt," said Magagula.
"Debt arises when your income is not sufficient to cover your expenses. Debt [then] attracts interest which you have to pay over-and-above the capital amount," said Magagula.
Magagula advised that it would be prudent for government employees to look for ways to save and invest to mitigate future financial blows.
Magagula also gave out useful basic tips saying at worst one must ensure that their expenditure equals your income. "At best ensure your expenditure is less than your income, so there is money left-over for emergencies. Save the left-over money. Stokvel is one simple saving scheme that you can consider or use a financial institution," he said.
Government employees also benefitted from sound advice given by the National Credit Regulator, SARS and GEPF.
Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Treasury