Six South Africans, six months, major financial decisions: Follow their journey as they move from debt to wealth creation

Following the successful 2017 Money Makeover Challenge which changed the lives of six ordinary South Africans forever, City Press and Absa will be launching the 2018 Money Makeover Challenge with six new contestants on Sunday 14 October 2018.

The next six months will test their resolve and make them face tough decisions on every aspect of their finances. A team of Absa financial advisers and a business banker have been paired with the candidates and will assist them with achieving their personal budgeting, saving, investing and wealth management goals.

“This year five of the six contestants are women, all with their own financial challenges from surviving the loss of the breadwinner, managing money on a freelance income to getting their adult children on their feet,” says personal finance expert Maya Fisher-French. She will also be working closely with the candidates and their advisers to showcase their respective journeys in the City Press newspaper.

“We take our broad societal responsibilities very seriously and over-indebtedness is a significant threat to the long-term financial security of families. Thankfully, the work necessary to managing your finances — such as paying off your debt and then converting the free cash into savings — is achievable with the right dose of discipline, and we look forward to once again partnering with City Press and Maya as each of the six candidates undergo their respective money makeovers,” says Absa Head of Citizenship, Sazini Mojapelo.

“We are constantly looking for ways to express who the new Absa is and what we stand for. It’s about finding new ways of getting things done and about bringing people’s possibilities to life. This is our brand in action, and hopefully we will inspire other South Africans to start their own personal journeys from debt to wealth creation,” she adds.

The bar has been set by 2017 winner Howard Hindoga who turned around his fledgling property business which had incurred a significant amount of short-term debt. He survived a major setback when the security company he worked for was liquidated three months into the Challenge, and he had to take a 35% drop in salary.

“The Money Makeover Challenge made me the person I am today. The team walked with me through this journey when I was drowning in debt. Maya's articles taught me how to look after my money no matter how little it was and how to invest. You gave me financial education which significantly pulled me out of poverty mentally. If I had not been on the Money Makeover journey, I would never have financially survived my personal crisis,” Hindoga said when he was named as the 2017 winner earlier this year.

Other exceptional achievements by the six contestants included paying off R68 000 in credit card debt, saving R60 000 towards a wedding, paying for a family holiday with cash, paying off and closing down personal loans, credit cards and store cards as well as significant improvements in credit scores.

The 2018 candidates will once again be required to complete certain financial tasks and to stick to the budgets set out for them in order to win incentive prizes or be selected as the final winner or runner-up.

This is the third year that City Press is running the Money Makeover Challenge and the second year for the Absa sponsorship. “Our last set of contestants was incredible. We all learnt so much from their experiences and resilience. None of them achieved this because of a higher salary or winning the lotto. This was all achieved by simply having a plan in place and sticking to it. They are proof that the power to change your financial circumstances lies within you and that you do not have to wait for some ‘miracle’ to achieve financial freedom,” says Fisher-French.

On Sunday 14 October 2018 the names of the 2018 candidates will be revealed in City Press and South Africans can follow their progress in the newspaper on the first and third week of each month as well as online on the dedicated Absa/ City Press Money Makeover website which also goes live on 14 October.

“Visit our Money Makeover website and look out for the bi-weekly feature in the City Press lifestyle supplement #Trending, where I will keep readers informed on each candidate’s progress. It will also give readers access to valuable tips and inspiration on those day-to-day money decisions all of us grapple with,” says Maya.

The overall winner will be announced in City Press on Sunday 31 March 2019.

The link to the Money Makeover website is

You can also follow the Challenge on social media

  • Twitter and Instagram @City_Press and @CPMoneyMakeover
  • Facebook using the search MoneyMakeover; and @CPMoneyMakeover