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Ouma Katrina is the last fluent speaker of N|uu. Picture: SUPPLIED/TYME BANK
Ouma Katrina is the last fluent speaker of N|uu. Picture: SUPPLIED/TYME BANK

TymeBank’s Save What Matters brand campaign aims to show how driving a culture of saving can help us achieve the things that really matter. It’s inspired by the story of Ouma Katrina Esau, the 88-year-old language warrior who has worked tirelessly to preserve her mother tongue of N|uu.  

Ouma Katrina is the last fluent speaker of N|uu, which itself is the last surviving San language. Her work to preserve and draw attention to the plight of this language has earned her several national honours and prompts us to reconsider the value of what we might otherwise take for granted. 

What we choose to save — or save for — matters. Whether it’s a new house, our health, or a better life for our children, the goals we set say a lot about who we are. Or, as Ouma Katrina puts it: “For me, my mother tongue of N|uu is what is worth saving. What is it for you, a house, a car, your community or a school?”

By establishing emotional links between what’s important to us and what’s needed to achieve it, the multimedia campaign also aims to encourage a culture of saving. SA’s savings rate, which has hovered at about 16% of GDP over the past 30 years, is substantially lower than the world average. 

“This campaign looks at what motivates us to plan for the future, and the power of goal-orientated saving. Our intention was to highlight the importance of savings in a special manner. By encouraging South Africans to reflect on what matters most to them, the campaign has also focused our attention as a bank on the diversity of incentives for saving that exist,” says Linda Appie, head of marketing at TymeBank. 

Ouma Katrina with Linda Appie. Picture: SUPPLIED/TYME BANK
Ouma Katrina with Linda Appie. Picture: SUPPLIED/TYME BANK

Alongside the campaign, TymeBank conducted a survey that asked respondents to list the things they considered most worth saving for. When it comes to the things money can buy, three aspirations are particularly important for the 1,585 respondents who were polled: education, a house and generational wealth. 

Most respondents (70.4%) value education above everything and 41% are saving towards this goal. While buying a house is next in the order of priorities (57.5%), affordability is an issue — only 36.2% are actively saving to purchase a home or already have a bond. 

Creating generational wealth is deemed important by 47.8% of respondents, with 27.1% indicating they are actively saving for their children, grandchildren and their own retirement.  

Given the financial difficulties many are facing, these goals are more attainable for some than for others. What the survey results tell us is that amid the challenges, a surprising number of people are actively saving to make their goals a reality. 

According to Appie, it’s no surprise that those polled identified education as their most important saving goal. “Education is widely seen as our best chance at a better future and it’s encouraging that so many people are prioritising this savings goal. 

“The savings goals identified by survey respondents are consistent with what our own customers are saving for using TymeBank’s GoalSave offering, which allows them to create and name up to 10 savings pockets and have the option to access their savings immediately. Children’s education, home and travel are the most frequently listed items, while travel and weddings also come up a lot,” she says. 

Appie says: “TymeBank is committed to helping South Africans invest in a way that allows them to realise their goals. By challenging consumers to consider what it is they are saving for, TymeBank’s Save What Matters campaign will help focus their thinking on the future they’d like to see for themselves, their children and their communities.” 

This article was paid for by TymeBank.

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