Working Paper - CSSR Working Paper
|Savings, insurance and debt over the post-Apatheid period
Sustainable poverty reduction requires that poor households effectively manage risk. The absence of basic financial services is a major obstacle to poverty reduction in South Africa. This paper reviews available South African literature on utilisation of formal and informal risk management instruments. The centrality of income in accessing the complementary bundle of formal financial services excludes households in the lower deciles from formal financial services. Rural households and households without formally employed household members are also denied access. Strong complementarities with informal channels of finance mean that these same households have limited access to even informal financial services. Promoting the use of savings accounts in pension and social grant payouts and the growth of village banks have been suggested as means to increase formal access for the poor.