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The annual Old Mutual survey, which tracks the shifts in the financial attitudes and behaviours of working metropolitan households in South Africa, shows that although South Africans continue to save too little, they are resourceful when it comes to overcoming financial challenges.
Lynette Nicholson, Research Manager at Old Mutual, says that a growing number of people in working metropolitan households - particularly in the middle to upper income brackets - are finding ways to supplement their incomes by having more than one job. “This reflects a global phenomenon that led to the term ‘Slashers’ being coined, referring to the slash between their job titles: for example, editor – slash - nail technician.”
To delve deeper into this trend, Old Mutual commissioned an additional online survey of 943 working respondents who earn a monthly personal income of R5 000 or more. It found that 37% of this sample were Slashers, people who stated that they have some kind of additional sideline business or another job, while permanently employed.
Of this group of Slashers:
Among the Slashers who hold dissimilar jobs or have different businesses to their full time employment, Old Mutual found the following interesting trends:
An interesting finding from the general Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor survey of 1000 working metropolitan households was that about 39% are thinking about starting their own business. This is highest in the 35 - 49 year age group (42%), says Nicholson.
Of those who claim to be fully self-employed entrepreneurs (not employed by others), about 68% said they had funded their own business by using their own savings and investments, while 22% claim to have borrowed from family or relatives.
The promotion and development of entrepreneurship is one of the priorities identified in the South African National Development Plan as well as the national programmes of various other African countries. Entrepreneurship and the small business sector are regarded as the engine of growth essential to create jobs and reduce unemployment.
Nicholson is optimistic that South Africans’ positive can-do attitude in the face of adversity can play a vital role in leading South Africa back to prosperity.
“Out of necessity great things can be borne,” she says. “We believe that through collaboration and partnerships between the small business sector and the corporate and private sectors, we can help to build a better future and a stronger national savings culture. Think of empowering enablers such as skills and business development support, financial education, training, SMME funding, mentorship and expert financial advice. All indications are that by working together it is possible to enlarge this engine of growth – the small business sector – for the benefit of the whole country.”