The first half of 2016 has been a whirlwind of exciting programme and administrative activities for the ASISA Foundation.

Saver Waya-Waya has gathered valuable momentum among young adults with its successful roll out at TVET colleges, and has also extended into supporting micro-enterprise with the launch of Saver Waya-Waya FLAME. The Project Qaphela workshops for NUM are continuing to make a positive impact among mineworkers, and our Retirement Fund Trustee Education workshops presented by the ASISA Academy has strengthened the skills of another 134 retirement fund trustees.

TOP: Students at TVET College attending the Saver Waya-Waya Awards event  BOTTOM LEFT: The winner of the social media prize for most active and best quality Facebook posts  BOTTOM RIGHT: Mr Zakes Nkomo, principal of Orbit TVET College Mankwe Campus, accepts an award from Isaac Ramputa, Chairman of the ASISA Foundation and CEO Ruth Benjamin-Swales, acknowledging his college’s participation in the programme
Starting fresh in February and continuing through to the end of June, we staggered the roll out of our Saver Waya-Waya Financial Literacy programme for TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training) College students. By the end of June we had reached more than 1 350 young adults across 4 campuses in Hammanskraal (Temba campus of Tshwane North TVET College) and in Brits, Mankwe and Rustenberg campuses of Orbit TVET College. The programme was designed to empower and help students make the right financial choices when they enter the world of work. We utilised multiple modes of communication to re-inforce the key messages of the programme which focused on financial themes such as planning and budgeting; needs versus wants; savings and earning interest; credit and paying interest; money and the world of work; as well as softer skills such as preparing a CV and preparing for a job interview.

The programme included six repeat face-to-face workshops, Facebook and WhatsApp groups, and an awards event at each campus to showcase theatre pieces - created by almost 500 participating students, and performed for their peers at each campus. What an exciting (sometimes challenging) but very rewarding project this turned out to be! One of the significant highlights of this project was the extent to which the young adults willingly shared their newly acquired financial education and work preparedness tips with their peers. The programme was well received by the TVET College leadership and the level of participation and creativity was hugely encouraging.


(Poem recited at Mankwe Orbit TVET College
by Martha Mnguni)

The wonderful notes of Madiba
I love the beautiful sound of silver and gold coins

But I just hate these three words:
"I am broke"
I mean, who likes being broke?
Precisely - no one
But yet we spend on this, spend on that,
spend on those...
We spend carelessly - flagrantly disregarding all cautions regarding money

Child of the earth,
Had you not listened when Shakespeare warned that, "Before you spend, earn"?

We love flashy clothes, girls, boys, booze...

Stop spending money you don't have!
Stop spending money on things you don't need!
Simply stop spending too much and save
It would be refreshing not to owe anyone

Look at me
I'm a still a student but I'm penny wise

Are you?



ABOVE: Mineworkers participating in a Project Qaphela workshop
We continued with our National Union of Mineworkers workshops (delivered in partnership with Sanlam and the NUM) at a much stronger pace. Guided by the Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) report on the pilot phase of this financial literacy project, we reconsidered our strategy and approach for the year ahead: the industrial theatre was translated into a video to facilitate more cost effective and extended roll outs, and the programme content and delivery modes is in the process of being tweaked. By the end of June 2016 our workshops had been presented to nearly 1 400 mineworkers. Plans are to extend the programme reach to beyond mineworkers in the second half of this year.
The programme monitoring and evaluation - which took place during and after the workshops - reported that “Project Qaphela successfully achieved overall knowledge and skills transfer”. A number of participants reported undertaking at least one follow-up activity since attending the workshops, such as consulting their human resources department to improve their understanding of their payslips and/or benefit statements. Participants reported an increasing levels of calmness concerning their debts as they had “paid off their debt since attending the programme or learnt how to manage their finances better.” The report also confirmed that more participants who received text messages (SMSes) after the workshops undertook follow-up activities than those who did not receive SMSes.


ABOVE: ASISA Academy hosting a breakaway session at the Batseta Winter Conference
Together with the ASISA Academy we continued our training of retirement fund trustees and strengthened our relationship with Batseta. By the end of June 2016 the Academy had successfully run 33 workshops for 397 participants since inception of the programme, 111 of which took place between January and June 2016. Twenty-two of these workshops focused on Investment Fundamentals and Active Ownership, with Trustee Governance and Ethics being the topic of the other eleven workshops delivered. There has been an increasing request for bespoke workshops tailored to the needs of specific Boards of Trustees such as “Analysis of the Retirement Fund’s Annual Financial Statements" and “Development of a Retirement Fund’s Investment Policy Statement”.
All RFTE workshops are subjected to independent monitoring and evaluation. Very positive feedback has been received from participants and the workshop evaluation tools indicated their increased levels of confidence to understand and engage with the workshop topics presented, relevant to their role as trustees. 
Strategic activities undertaken during this period to increase awareness of these fully funded training programmes included co-presenting a workshop for a number of key Cosatu stakeholders via the WWF, and hosting three breakaway workshops at Batseta’s Winter conference.
"It has been very valuable. I am very excited about the knowledge I have gained. Great course!"

We are fired up about our new financial literacy project directed primarily at black women in communities. The project partners and framework have been finalised and the programme has been named Saver Waya Waya: FLAME (Financial Literacy & Micro-Enterprise), which represents the focus on Financial Literacy (FL) and the ignition of Micro-Enterprises (ME) in communities. It will also incorporate a soft skills component to assist participants to develop the positive psyche and self-belief which is necessary for successful entrepreneurship. Roll out of FL workshops is scheduled to commence post August 2016 municipal elections. In the meanwhile the project partners - NASASA (the National Stokvel Association of South Africa), Grounded Media, and Driven (a subsidiary of Awethu Projects) - are engaged in sourcing the right candidates and identifying the business landscape and market opportunities in the project areas. A two year time frame is envisaged for this project FLAME. Watch this space...

In March 2016, we welcomed Mr Ivor Msimang on board as a project manager. Ivor has already made a huge contribution as he quietly but efficiently fitted into the project teams and shared his passion for financial literacy and people and his experience in working on financial literacy projects with communities. We look forward to his continued contribution adding to the value of the ASISA Foundation's activities as we strive to provide innovative financial literacy solutions and guidance to the financial services sector.

The Compliance audit of the Foundation has been completed and we received the Independent Competent Person's Reports confirming that we remain compliant as a Broad Based Ownership Scheme and that our programmes comply with the requirements of the Financial Sector Charter (FSC) Code which enables funders to immediately claim their contributions to the Foundation as either Consumer Financial Education or Socio-Economic Development.

The Statutory audit of the Foundation's annual financial statements is currently underway.

The ASISA Foundation’s funding continues to be ringfenced according to the specific financial education projects approved by the Board of Trustees, and in some instances aligned to specific donor’s requests. These include:
  1. SAVER WAYA-WAYA - with programmes for (i) young adults (TVET Colleges) (ii) communities (FLAME) and (iii) workers
  2. PROJECT QAPHELA - a programme for workers in partnership with the National Union of Mineworkers and Sanlam
We hugely appreciate the continued support of all our funders who have made it possible for these projects to be implemented thus far. The ASISA Foundation, as an industry body, strives to play a strategic role by providing guidance to the industry through the implementation of innovative consumer financial education programmes which seek to effectively achieve a positive impact on the financial well-being of its programme participants. To continue implementing these projects at scale, the Foundation requires continuous and increasing funding.

The ASISA Foundation is hugely indebted to our amazing project team members from Grounded Media, the ASISA Academy, Genesis Analytics, VulaVula, the various project steering committee members, as well as the team members at ASISA, whose enthusiastic and dedicated involvement has contributed to the success of each project.
In reflecting on the activities of the past 6 months and considering the current economic and political challenges we face as a country, we realise afresh how relevant and critical our programmes are to the well-being of the people of South Africa and on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the ASISA Foundation we wish to thank our funders and project partners for your continued support in making our programmes possible.
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