South African children's understanding of money and banking


School of Psychology, Washington Singer Laboratories, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QG, UK (e-mail:


The understanding of banking and money in South African Black children aged 7, 9, 11 and 14 years, drawn from a rural, an urban and a semi-urban setting, was investigated. The participants were 225 children (80 rural, 60 urban and 85 semiurban) who were interviewed individually in Setswana, their mother tongue. There was approximately an equal number of boys and girls in the three samples and in each age group. The urban children lived in a township in Pretoria, the semi-urban and the rural in the North West Province. The results show that South African Black children's views about banking and money exhibit some similarities to those held by children in other countries. However, their perceptions have a distinct flavour which reflect their social milieu. Within-society differences also emerged with rural children (the poorest sample) showing the weakest understanding.