MAINTAINING A BOND
This stokvel is made up of siblings and cousins who realised that they’d started drifting apart because of their busy lives. They spent their childhoods together at their grandmother’s home in Soweto. But as they grew older, started working and building their own families, they lost sight of their bond. Reality hit when their grandmother passed away and they didn’t have enough money to give her a dignified funeral.
After scrambling for funds for the funeral, they made the decision to start a stokvel which would assist financially should they lose any of their loved ones. They also saw it as an opportunity to get together regularly.
MEETINGS AND MONEY
They have a monthly meeting which takes place at their late grandmother’s home in Soweto. Here, they each make their R300 contribution and discuss any matters that need to be addressed. The contribution of R300 is divided into three parts: R150 goes towards burial costs, R100 goes into an investment account which was opened in 2016 and the funds have not been withdrawn as yet, and R50 goes towards the costs of their annual family Christmas celebration.
When a member of the family dies, the stokvel pays for the funeral which includes taking care of costs such as transport, food, a tent, bus rental and an undertaker. Members bring cash to the meetings, which are then deposited by the appointed treasurer.
Members that are not physically present are required to deposit their contribution into the account by the day of the meeting and send proof of payment to their WhatsApp group chat.
One of the challenges the stokvel has faced has been distance. As not everyone is based in Gauteng, it is rare to have all 13 members attend all the meetings. They’ve addressed this challenge by having a group video call at some meetings. This allows everyone to have an opportunity to be a part of it. When technology fails, minutes of the meeting are drawn up and sent to the members not present.
The key to any successful stokvel is trusting the members in your group from the get-go. Along with creating a disciplined savings habit, stokvels have a great social element where members meet to share stories, ideas and have social events to get to know each other.
Getting together as regularly as possible makes it easy to get to know or to keep up with the lives of the people in your stokvel as well as where and how you can get hold of them and their families in times of need.
If you want your stokvel to be featured in Move!, send us your contact details and a picture of your stokvel members to: firstname.lastname@example.org