About US

 We enable voiceless communities, groups and individuals to gain and maintain financial dignity
from debilitating household debt through Awareness & Education, Debt Activism and Advocacy ’

About Us

You & Your Money was started in 2001 by a small group of friends who were working in the development field, and who became aware of the crippling problem of household and personal debt in South African communities.

Initially, they developed basic training programmes that they ran in the organisations in which they were working with staff members who were struggling with debt. It soon became clear however that the problem was prevalent enough to warrant the establishment of an organisation that focused solely on helping people to gain control of their debt. Thus You & Your Money was established. It has grown into a fully operational and successful organisation that is making its mark on financial freedom and dignity in the lives of many South Africans.

Our Vision Statement:

  • You & Your Money are breaking the cycle of debilitating debt for all South Africans.


Our Mission Statement:

  • We guide groups and individuals towards control of their personal debt and towards gaining financial dignity.

You & Your Money has NPO status, and since our inception we have achieved much, for example:

SIGNIFICIANT ACHIEVEMENTS

  • We have also produced excellent educational material in local languages for free distribution.
  • We have trained literally thousands of people nationwide in Financial Life Skills – a course that we developed that focuses on teaching financial and debt management.
  • Our Debt Activism Programme is making inroads into rural communities such as in the Northern Cape and partnering with local organisations to bring about awareness and change. We have a permanent Community Worker committed to this programme now.
  • We have participated in government process and our submissions to the National Credit Bill were accepted before it was passed into an Act in March 06.
  • Minister Trevor Manuel has consistently supported us in our endeavours. He was our guest speaker at a fundraiser in 2004 and has shown his support in many other ways such as making us a beneficiary of the Golf Day of the National Treasury.
  • We network widely with other NPO’s and related organisations such as Black Sash, Imali Matters, DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) the Micro Finance Regulatory Council (now the National Credit Regulator) and the Alternate Information and Development Centre, to mention just a few.
  • We are constantly gaining new ground in communities and work in close partnership with organisations working 'on the ground'. For example, we     have started formal relationships with Manenberg Self-Help and Khayelitsha Citizens Advice Bureau and these will help involvement in similar areas.
  • We have a strong Management Board who continues to actively govern and stay committed to the vision to see South Africans walking in financial freedom.
  • We have ongoing international and national funding support.
  • Much more has been achieved during the past three years, as you have read in reports sent every six months.
  • We were nominated for the Consumer Champions Awards administered by the Department of Trade and Industry.

Organisation Structure

We currently have four full-time employees. Schematic presentation of the organisation:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Objectives

Objectives

‘ Breaking the cycle of debilitating debt for all South Africans ’
 

Our Key Beneficiaries:

Individuals and groups, living in the poorest of poor communities, mainly in rural areas, but also in urban areas, many of whom are unemployed and lack financial literacy.

Strategic themes for 2012 to 2015:

1. Develop the Cape Town office as an Operational Hub, focused on training facilitation, income generation, fundraising and administration.

  • Upgrade our training material to keep it relevant – in particular to incorporate awareness of the important aspects of the CPA linked with the existing financial life-skills curriculum
  • Facilitate corporate training as an important income generator, as well as providing much needed financial life-skills training to lower income earners who are in formal employment
  • Facilitate development training to lower income earners in NPO / CBO employment, informal employment, self employed or un-employed
  • Provide debt activism and advocacy on a case-by-case basis, based on individuals attending our training workshops who may be experiencing acute or chronic debt problems
  • Manage funding requirements, by managing existing funder relationships, or by the submission of funding proposals
  • Raise funds specifically to provide some sort of free or affordable informal debt advice and counselling to those in need
  • Raise funds specifically to launch a second satellite office in a relevant rural area.

2. Improving our services to the rural areas of the Northern Cape.

  • Nurture and grow current and new relationships with relevant stakeholders
  • Recruit and train debt activists to facilitate training and support in their own communities
  • Facilitate training to lower income earners in NPO / CBO employment, informal employment, self employed or un-employed
  • Participate in various community based forums with a focus on community upliftment and development
  • Provide debt activism and advocacy on a case-by-case basis, based on exposure to the communities and their relevant problems in the region

3. Facilitate beneficiaries and other low income earners to gain access to some form of free or affordable debt advice.

  • Facilitate access through the NCR structures of voluntary debt counselling and structured debt counselling
  • Recruit and train own resources to provide basic debt advice at the Cape Town Hub and at the satellite office(s) to those who cannot afford or are not eligible to use the more formal NDMA and NCR facilities. 

4. Build strategic relationships and networks

  • Where ever possible, be the ‘voice of the voiceless’ in relevant debt related and financial literacy forums
  • Where it is relevant, engage with the NCR and other relevant institutions, with the ongoing aim to communicate and address the debt related problems of lower income consumers generally, and specifically the poorest of the poor, in South Africa.

5. Ensure effective organisation governance and management

  • Attract relevant people with appropriate competencies to serve on the Board
  • Ensure statutory compliance at all times
  • Manage the organisation through an effective Mancom comprising the Executive Director(s), senior management, and one non-Executive Director.

 

 

Programmes


Programmes/Services

Formed in 2001, You & Your Money is the only Non-Profit Organisation (reg. 016-388 NPO) in South Africa wholly dedicated to addressing household debt. We exist to reduce the escalation of personal debt that burdens so many of our disadvantaged citizens, and we are fighting this crisis on several different fronts.
 

EXTERNAL SUPPORT SERVICES for Community Groups, Faith Groups, NGO/NPO's etc...

Once the Financial Lifeskills Workshops have been completed, members of participating groups may decide to continue meeting in order to encourage one another with budgeting and saving.

You & Your Money will provide background support to group leaders in their own communities.

 

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ADDITIONAL MEETINGS

Groups frequently request special focus workshops on topics relevant to their financial lives.

Some of the topics chosen have been

  • Group Savings Schemes;
  • Funerals and Life Policies;
  • The Annual Bonus;
  • Psychology of Personal Finance (Money Personality Profiling)
  • Saving for Retirement.

Expected Outcomes for Participants

  •     An increase in savings activities
  •     A systematic reduction of debt (eg. Garnishees)
  •     The ability to make informed choices about available credit options.
  •     Increased awareness of own financial behaviour
  •     Knowledge of the Consumer Protections of the National Credit Act
  •     An understanding of the Debt Review Processes available under the NCA
  •     Reduced stress and pressure on individuals and family units.

 

Success

Success

People who have been on our workshops say ...

 I’ve always carried the financial burden in my family, now I sit with my partner and we work through things together. My partner did resist, but now supports me.”

“ I was always so scared to negotiate 
with my creditors, but after workshop two I approached them and they accepted my offer. Emotionally I’m much better off.”

“ I’ve paid up three accounts. I could never say no to my family. I’m now practicing to say no to small things and I’m finding it much easier to be firm”

“ I’ve got so much confidence. I approached my biggest creditor about new repayment amount. He rejected my offer; three days later he called to tell me they will accept it. I’ve even started saving a small amount each month.”

“ I paid up my cash loan, I have no money now, but I’m getting my bonus next week and so I’ll have money again. My mind is free from worry and even though I’m short now, it is much better than having heaviness in my heart.”

“ I went to speak to my creditors, they were about to send me for debt administration, after I spoke to them I kept my accounts with them, they asked me how much I could afford to pay. I feel relieved now, the amount of stress I was having was too much. I didn’t think the little amount that I could pay would make a difference, but it does. I used to feel awful when I saw the name of the shop; I used to think that they all knew that I owed them money. Now I feel proud when I walk past. I can sleep at night.”

“ This course was good because it was personal to us. We worked with our money and our budget. It was not a global example; it was us, our needs and our salaries.”

“This course is an eye-opener and a motivator to look after my finances more thoroughly.”

“ I think that you should advertise these workshops, as it will teach people to be more responsible with their money and help them with so much they don’t know.”

        

 

Left to right :

Ian Wheeler           -    Board Member
Dr Lionel Louw       -    Guest Speaker
Lolita Barends        -    Capitec Bank
Johann Magerman  -    Executive Director

 

    

 

 

 

     
     

 

 

Case Studies

Oom Abraham (not his real name):
Oom Abraham is a 89 year old pensioner from Rosedale, a working class neighbourhood in Upington. He was referred to our Upington office by the South African Human Rights Council in Upington. Oom Abraham complained about unlawful deductions from his pension. The company involved is a micro-lending company. After a few letters, a home visit and two meetings, it turned out that Oom Abraham did have a legal credit agreement and had in fact agreed to the deductions. As a gesture of good faith, the company agreed to terminate the contract with Oom Abraham and to cancel his outstanding debt of about R6500.

Mrs Pharaoh
Mrs Pharaoh phoned the General Director on his cell phone to register a complaint against a well known furniture company. She got my number after her sister attended one of our workshop in Vanrhynsdorp. Mrs Pharaoh bought a washing machine in October 2013 and a month later the machine broke. After several attempts, the company eventually collected the washing machine in January 2014.  By middle March 2014 she still has not received the machine back. This was when she contacted us. She requested that we intervened on our behalf as she has stopped paying her account. We contacted the branch in Lambertsbay to get their side of the story. We eventually offered them a settlement and in turn they would cancel the agreement. Should they accept the offer, she would save about R1600.

MM
It appeared that this person “MM”, was under debt review but after a few phone calls ABSA was adamant that the client has defaulted and thus entitled to repossessing her car.  The only concession we got from them was that pending further investigating, they will keep the car in Cape Town and not store it in Port Elizabeth, at huge expense to the client.  We phoned to establish the true extent of the problem.  At one point we had a conference call consisting of Y&YM, MM, her debt counsellor, ABSA HQ and ABSA local.  After more than three weeks of faxing various documents and email communicating MM received notification that her car would be returned to her.  This incident highlighted a number of things:
Our presence is essential in directing or referring consumers to the right person In the case of MM, there was never a consent order granted as her debt counsellor did not have instructing attorneys with the result that the client was left vulnerable to legal proceedings from her credit provider. 

Bugan Case
We have also successfully dealt with Mrs A Bugan, a pensioner’s case. She was coerced into buying a DVD player from Lewis Stores in Kraaifontein. She explained to the salesman what she wanted, but upon arrival home discovered that the DVD was not what she wanted and that it was actually a mini-hifi player that cannot perform the functions of the DVD. We made contact with Lewis Store in Brackenfell, but was confronted by a very aggressive and racist store manager. We referred the matter to their Head Office in Cape Town and logged a written complaint sighting the provisions in the Consumer Protection Act dealing with delivery of goods. Companies are obliged to deliver goods that match the sample or description of the product. The Cape Town Head Office of Lewis Stores instructed the Brackenfell Shop management to remedy the situation by delivering the right item to Mrs Bugan’s home in Kraaifontein. Mrs Bugan was very delighted to receive the right item as requested at no cost to her.