Ray Maota Since July 2008 to date Teach Children to Save South Africa, through 15 banks and 28 financial sector institutions, has empowered more than 350 000 grade four to seven pupils in over 1 500 schools. (Image: Flickr) Fikile Kuhlase of Basa said that the rationale of the programme is that the earlier children learn about the importance of saving and spending money wisely, the better the chances that this culture will be engrained in them. (Image: The Banking Association South Africa) MEDIA CONTACTS • Teach Children to Save South Africa + 27 11 645 6721/6740 RELATED ARTICLES • SA financial whiz is world’s best • Grooming future leaders: priceless • Young people: own your destiny! • All aboard the Youth ExpressThe need for a culture of saving has been reiterated countless times by financial institutions. How better to get one going than to instil it in young people who will benefit from the habit in their adult years?This is where the Teach Children to Save South Africa (TCTS SA) programme comes in. This year the initiative is celebrating five years of grooming youngsters to be savvy savers.Set up by the Banking Association South Africa (Basa), which partnered with the national Department of Education, the programme focuses mainly on primary school pupils under the age of 13 years.Basa represents local and international banks registered in South Africa, and currently has 34 members. Its fundamental mission is to provide banking services to as many South Africans as possible in the interest of developing growth in the country’s socio-economic sector.“Financial literacy is among the strategic objectives of the association,” said Fikile Kuhlase, senior GM of socio-economic growth and development at Basa.How the programme worksThis year’s edition of the programme will be rolled out nationally from 16 to 27 July, with the main event taking place on the 18th at the Booi Primary School in Port Elizabeth’s Zwide township.During the week of the campaign, pupils will participate in lessons and activities designed to create an understanding of crucial tools like budgets and savings plans.They will also be taught how to differentiate between needs and wants, track their daily expenses and learn how to make saving an integral part of their lives.“The lessons are delivered by volunteer bankers and financial sector professionals who have willingly traded the boardroom for the classroom to instil lifelong sound habits of saving,” said Kuhlase.Since July 2008 to date the programme, through 15 banks and 28 financial sector institutions, has empowered more than 350 000 grade four to seven pupils in over 1 500 schools.“The rationale is that the earlier children learn about the importance of saving and spending money wisely, the better the chances that this culture will be engrained in them,” said Kuhlase.Interested schools have to register with the South African Savings Institute (Sasi) to become part of the programme.Role modelWell-known television and radio personality Minnie Dlamini (22) has been appointed as the programme’s ambassador.“Minnie epitomises the type of behaviour we hope to instil with this programme,” said Kuhlase.“Not only is she financially savvy, but she is astute as well, and because of this, she is now financially independent.”Besides appearing in broadcaster M-Net’s popular television series The Wild, Dlamini is also the face of international hair-care brand Motions and presents a music programme on national radio station Metrofm.Financial literacy criticalFinancial literacy is critical in improving South Africa’s saving rate. According to Basa, 70% of South African adults do not save.In 2011 the country’s domestic savings rate had seen a drop of over 10% from 35% 23 years before, in 1988. The country is ranked among the lowest in the world at 20%.In contrast, consumers from developing countries such as China are saving more, with the Asian country boasting the highest rate in the world with 52% of national GDP.While the poor savings culture impacts individual households, it also affects the inclusive growth of the country’s economy, says Sasi, which celebrates national savings month every year in July.“The current domestic economic situation with slow growth and inflation at the top of its band has exposed South Africans’ vulnerabilities in terms of their income, expenditure, savings and debt,” said Sasi chairperson Prem Govender, at the launch of the campaign earlier in July.She said South Africans needed to take charge of their lives by saving.“Many South Africans still count on the state or their neighbours to bail them out of financial woes,” said Govender.
The colourful Kriki for Shore sets are ingeniously constructed from a variety of everyday waste items. Yandiswa Mazwana runs the workshop in Kommetjie.(Images: Steven Booth) MEDIA CONTACTS • Danielle Pannack CLE Communications +27 21 762 6001 RELATED ARTICLES • Rugby sewing initiative kicks off • Recycled corks, safer communities • Maasai hope to bowl Cape Town over • Cartridge recycling helps babies • Recycling as a way of lifeJanine ErasmusWith the new Kriki for Shore initiative, cricket-mad and green-minded South Africans can now play their game with the added knowledge that they are helping to clean up our beaches and create jobs in communities.Kriki for Shore produces colourful cricket sets using plastic waste gathered from beaches. Each set consists of a bat, ball, wickets and bails, and an extra wicket for the bowler’s end. It comes in a bag for easy carrying.It’s the successor to the well-received Touch rugby ball project, which provided work for unemployed seamstresses around the period of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The women made rugby balls by hand, using recycled billboards for the outer casing and plastic bags for the stuffing. All material was gathered on the streets of their communities. This gave them an income of up to R200 (US$23) a day, and addressed the waste of both talent and material.“Kriki was designed to address the same issue,” says Thurlow Hanson-Moore, founding partner at social communication company Mbongiworks, a division of creative consultancy Thewinwingroup, “creating useful items out of waste and cleaning up at the same time.”Hanson-Moore is the brains behind Touch and Kriki.Like Touch, Kriki is part of the CSI efforts of Gauteng-based waste management company EnviroServ, through its Play Clean campaign, which aims to put the fun into recycling and reclaiming.“We would like to take the initiative into a new sport every year,” says Hanson-Moore, mentioning football and netball as potential future projects, “so that whatever sport you prefer, when you use your recycled sport set you become an advocate for everything that Kriki stands for.”Interested in a Kriki set? Order yours through the initiative’s Facebook page or Twitter @kriki4shore. You can also email [email protected] or call +27 76 656 8370. Kriki for Shore sets sell for R185 ($21) each, and there are hopes that they will be available in retail stores soon.Turning waste into workEach Kriki for Shore set is made from waste collected by seaside communities in the Western Cape.The waste collection is overseen by the Kommetjie Environmental Action Group (Keag) and is reworked by non-profit Harlequin Foundation into functional items. Harlequin administers the eMzantsi Mapiko project, a community-building entrepreneurship initiative that includes an annual carnival in the suburbs of the peninsula proper.Mapiko recently received a grant from Unesco’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity to the tune of around R719 000 ($81 000), to enable it to expand its reach. Trained workers in recycled art have gone on to work at the Gauteng and Cape Town carnivals.Earlier in the year the workshop was burgled, resulting in the loss of equipment and tools worth thousands of rands. But in October Mapiko was approached by representatives from Keag, asking them to produce the Kriki sets – this helped ease the pain as each Kriki set provides work for two days for an individual.Currently 14 women who are their families’ sole bread winners, as well as six disabled crafters, have benefited from Kriki for Shore, but as more people support the initiative by placing their orders, more community members will receive training.“We are keeping up with all orders,” says Hanson-Moore, “and so far over 400 sets have been made.”The wickets are made from a total of 64 bottle tops joined together, with pipe lengths and wood from the Port Jackson acacia – an exotic species – adding stability, while the bails are constructed from eight bottle top lids with a length of wood down the middle. Bats are creatively made from fabric softener bottles and Port Jackson wood.To date, 6 400 bottle top lids, 400 fabric softener bottles, 6 000cm of Port Jackson and 20 000cm of pipe have been used in the making of Kriki sets.“Besides the job creation aspect, Kriki is functional art,” says Hanson-Moore, “which adds extra appeal.”
There are just 12 white lions remaining in the wild. This is the reason the Global White Lion Protection Trust is enlisting the help of children to be the voice of the big cats and ensure their survival. (Images: Varuna Jina) If you want to know what it’s like to be a lion in today’s world, don’t conjure feelings of predatory awesomeness or regal might. Instead, picture yourself being held captive or hunted for sport. Imagine being forced to breed and have your babies taken away from you, never to be seen again.These are the concerns driving the The Global White Lion Protection Trust’s StarLion Programme, which educates the Shangaan community in the Timbavati region about protecting the famed white lions found in the area.The trust, which is situated about 20 kilometres from Hoedspruit in Limpopo, also launched the One United Roar campaign that is getting youth and adults from the commnity to be the voice for the lions, especially when speaking to policymakers.The white lions of the Timbavati are of great significance to the Shangaan. They believe the kings and queens of the past were reborn as the felines.One United Roar is set against the backdrop of the 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES CoP17) that will be held in Johannesburg from 24 September to 5 October. South Africa is looking to change the status of the African lion from endangered to a species not under threat.Africa lions, Panthera leo, are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Animals classified as vulnerable means they are considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild and are likely to become endangered unless the circumstances threatening their survival and reproduction improve.They are split listed on the CITES appendices, at Appendix I and II, which means some populations of a species are on one appendix, while some are on another. Appendix I means the species is threatened with extinction and may be affected by trade; trade in wild-caught species is illegal. Appendix II means the species is not necessarily threatened with extinction, but may become so unless trade in them is restricted. An export permit is required for trade in these species.There are just 12 white lions remaining in the wild, while hundreds are in captivity. They would be deemed critically endangered if they were classified as a subspecies of lion. But CITES groups them among the tawny African lion population.Children from the StartLion Programme tell the audience why they feel lions should be protected.Linda Tucker, the founder of the Global White Lion Protection Trust, said the campaign recognised that all the policies governing wildlife did not represent the animals’ perspective. “We thought ‘how do we get lions as the silent stakeholders in human policies, to have a voice and a vote?’ We thought the only way to do that was for people to go into the position of the lion. And the best way to do that was through kids because they were much less indoctrinated than we were and they could feel from a lion’s perspective what it was like.”The campaign is aimed at children from as young as five years old to young adults aged 21. It asks them to speak from the position of the lion and to tell policymakers what they need to hear. “It’s a heart activation,” said Tucker. “It’s not intended to rationalise and get into the detail of the policy. It’s intentionally emotive so that people get emotional about their heritage.”One United Roar is inspired by indigenous knowledge systems as well as the ecological crisis of our day, explained Tucker. “In an indigenous environment, if there’s a council or a policymaker sitting to decide an aspect of nature, you’ll always have an empty chair because… who will speak for the wolf or who will speak for the lion? You actually invite nature into the discussion. So we’re saying to the policymakers, ‘Shut up and listen for the first time. What are the lions saying about your decisions?’”Girls from the StarLion Programme prepare for a traditional Shangaan ceremony that honours the white lions.MESSAGES THROUGH VIDEOPart of the campaign was to get children from the community to create a video that could be uploaded on to the trust’s website, said Berry Gargan, one of the facilitators of One United Roar.Audiences around the world would then be able to review and like the videos.Out of these, 24 videos with the most likes would be assessed by an international panel of judges who would then choose six winners that most embodied what the lions wanted to say. “We will bring them from wherever they are to the white lion territory and give them the opportunity to really make a difference and have the policymakers hear them,” said Gargan.TACKLING ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES FROM THE HEARTOver the 14 years that Tucker has been running the trust, she has had to influence policy, which she said could make one battle weary.She has presented her case on behalf of lions in South Africa’s Parliament and even at Westminster Abbey. But with One United Roar, she wants to take the cause out of politics. “We want to step out of that whole forum and just hear nature calling to us and the best way we can do that is [through] kids representing nature from the heart.“The most dangerous thing about the times we live in is that people are totally detached from the issues. Hearts are shut down. They’re working overtime here (points to her head) but their hearts not really connected to nature any longer.”Children from the StarLion Programme told the story of the white lion through song and dance. White lions are sacred to the Shangaan in Timbavati. The lions played a big part in determining the health of the ecosystem, said Daréll Lourens, a filmmaker involved in marketing the campaign. “If the lions are flourishing, everything else below them falls into place. By focusing on lions it tells us that that we are screwing up nature by not giving it the place it deserves.”Changing the lions’ status to species not under threat means that the captive breeding industry can be regulated. But for Tucker, the risk will be higher as it would make it acceptable to industrialise lions, or in other words, captive breed them purely for hunting. “Once that happens from a legislation point of view, it’s really the end of everything, the end of ecosystems.”
Ian Gabriel, director of the critically acclaimed film Four Corners, features in the second episode of Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part TV series, to air on SABC2 on Sunday 22 June at 9pm.Gabriel is playing his part for South Africa as one of the nation’s most prolific commercials directors, working locally and internationally in Europe, North America, Asia and the rest of Africa. His combination of storytelling and performance, with his distinctive visual style is a defining quality of his work. (Image: Ian Gabriel)There are thematic links between Ian Gabriel’s two films, Forgiveness and Four Corners. The latter is about family trying to get beyond the past to make a new life. The former deals with apartheid and the difficulty of reconciliation.Gabriel is equally at home directing off-the-cuff, slice-of-life observation as he is bringing the human touch to celebrity talent. His work with jazz greats Miriam Makeba and Abdullah Ibrahim, political icons Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, football star Cristiano Ronaldo, actress Charlize Theron, world champion long distance runner Haile Gebrselassie, among others, is testament to his ability to achieve outstanding performances from actors, characters, musicians, sports heroes and political figures.Watch the Four Corners trailer: First published on Media Club South Africa – Brand South Africa’s library of quality images and articles, available for free