Bloemfontein – Fewer than four out of 10 adult South
Africans (38%) think that government is controlling the cost of living well or
even fairly well.
This was one of the findings in an Ipsos survey conducted
among 3 500 respondents at the end of last year.
The report was issued last week.
It was found that very few South Africans are saving for
their retirement, even if they have jobs.
In order to determine how concerned South Africans are about
the cost of living in the country, Ipsos asked questions about 10 items on
which households generally spend money.
Respondents had to indicate whether it was easy, very easy,
difficult or very difficult to afford such items – including food, fuel, health
care and savings for retirement.
If a household did not use a specific item, this was not
taken into account.
The finding is that more than half of all South Africans
find it difficult to pay for their basic needs.
Only 16% said that they found it easy or very easy to save
If this is narrowed down to working South Africans, the
percentage shifts up to 23%.
Young people between the ages of 18 and 24 were saving far
less, and up to 72% indicated that it was very difficult to save for
According to Prem Govender, who chairs the South African
Savings Institute (Sasi), it is imperative for a savings culture to be fostered
among South Africans to reduce dependence on the state.
“Sasi however realises how difficult it is for ordinary
South Africans to put aside a few rand and, as the price of products like
petrol and electricity keep rising, it becomes even more difficult.”
From the results of the survey the impact of expensive fuel
was also clear: only 12% of the respondents indicated that they could easily or
very easily afford it. Even employed South Africans found the cost of fuel an
Only 17% indicated that they could easily afford it.
“Most households probably do not have enough money to buy
even the basics.
“Savings are apparently regarded as a luxury that most
people can scarcely afford,” said Mari Harris, Director of Public Affairs at
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