THE FINANCIAL PLANNING OF LOW INCOME HOUSEHOLDS FOR THE XHOSA INITIATION RITUAL
South Africa is characterised by low levels of household savings, with households preferring to divert surplus cash to life’s luxuries. Low levels of household savings in South Africa are due in part to the country having a poor savings culture. The lack of savings as well as lack of financial planning, among other things, results in people (especially the poor) being unable to effectively plan their finances for long term wants and needs. The purpose of this research is to investigate exactly how low income families are financially planning for the Xhosa circumcision initiation ritual, given that costs for this ritual can be excessive. For the purpose of this research report, a qualitative method of research is applied. The sampling method includes non-probability sampling – that is purposive of judgemental sampling. In the research process individual interviews are utilised as well as relevant literature to this study. The interviews were conducted in N.U. 13 in the township of Mdantsane, in the Eastern Cape. The major findings of this study are that low income households find difficulty in savings which is tremendously increased for low income households with children. It was found that low income households are in fact saving and financially planning for their various wants and needs, but utilise informal savings methods as opposed to consulting formal financial institutions. With regards to financial planning for the initiation ritual the major finding of the research is that although saving occurs, it is not done in a timeous manner, leading many of these low income households to bear negative financial costs as a result thereof.
MM (P&DM) thesis
Low income households, Xhosa initiation rituals