Durban University of TechnologyDUT

By Thabo Maile

About 300 students gathered at the Durban University of Technology’s Cane Growers Hall, ML Sultan Campus on Tuesday (July 16, 2013) for the launch of the Financial Literacy Workshop, based on how students can start spending less and saving more.

The workshop is an initiative of the KwaZulu-Natal Treasury, alongside its partners, which targets specifically students who are government bursary holders.

The programme covered an array of issues, among these the crisis of blacklisted students.

Dr Delysia Timm, Adviser: Special Projects in the office of the DVC: Academic, welcomed all the guests saying the University is in full support of this initiative. She also revealed that DUT is currently “engaged in a curriculum renewal project with a student-centred approach and focussing on meeting the needs and not the wants of students in Higher Education.” She added that a critical General Education module will be introduced in 2015, the content of which will be based on issues that students will be facing in society.

Dr Timm encouraged students to pay attention during the presentations. Indeed, students were attentive, the points made by each of the presenters evidently hitting home.

In her keynote address, KZN Finance MEC Ina Cronje said close to a quarter of students are in debt, most of it through retail clothing. This, she said, was according to a recent report by Student Village.

“How sad to learn about students who have already been blacklisted by the time they start working! Student debt has more than doubled in the past three years, with 43% of students admitting to owning a credit card in the 2012 survey, compared to 9.5% in 2010,” she said.

The MEC warned students that being blacklisted means they will struggle to get credit or a loan, even for something important like their studies, a house or a car.

Other speakers included Prem Govender of the Savings Institute of South Africa, Mandla Cele from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme of South Africa and Financial Services Board representative Ginger Bester, whose speeches correlated.

Cele gave clarity on the different loans and bursaries which are available from NSFAS and government departments while Govender enlightened students on the difference between saving and investing.

The Financial Literacy workshop is set to hold in other higher education institutions as well.

Caption: Partners at the Financial literacy workshop held at Durban University of Technology, Cane Growers Hall, ML Sultan campus.

Pictured: (From left): Mandla Cele of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme South Africa; Calvin Singh, from the KZN Financial Literacy Association; Didi Sebothoma, National Credit Regulator; Prem Govender of the Savings Institute of South Africa; Ginger Bester, from the Financial Services Board; Ina Cronje’, KZN MEC of Finance and Artwell Hlengwa, Chairman of the KZN Financial Literacy Association.

Article source: DUT