*This article was previously published in the print edition of Move!
THE BEGINNING: This group of women decided to start their own stokvel after being inspired by one that ran in their neighborhood. Individually, they each felt strongly and practiced sharing and helping others in their community so creating a stokvel was a perfect fit for the group.
MEETINGS & CONTRACTS: The group meets on the first Sunday of every month and every member gets the chance to host the event. They only accept new members at the beginning of the year, who are inducted at the December meeting where they learn the rules of the stokvel. At the beginning of the year the members are expected to sign a contract which explains in detail the rules of the stokvel and their roles, rights and responsibilities.
The content of the contract is discussed in December in preparation for the New Year and all members are expected to be present. According to the contract, members may not leave the club at just any time during the year as it will cause too many complications, such as the hassle and cost implications of withdrawing money from the investment account too soon.
LOAN SCHEME At the last meeting of the year the members must each make a contribution of R850, with R400 going towards their loan fund. They gather R6 000, which is added to the money collected throughout the year.
Members in need are given the option to take out a small loan which they must pay back within two months and interest is charged at 30%.
The members are aware that banks charge much lower interest rates for loans, but most of them prefer borrowing money from the stokvel because it does not involve a lot of paperwork and they get the money immediately Another reason the stokvel loans work for them is because some of the members do not have permanent jobs so banks are less likely to approve loan applications.
MONEY MATTERS: Each member is required to contribute R450 every month. Failure to make payment within a week after the end-ofmonth deadline results in a penalty of R50. The R450 is split into two accounts – R100 goes into a burial fund and the remaining amount is for the funds that members cash out in December. The money is put in an investment account which earns interest.
NAME: Thusanang Stokvel LOCATION: Vosloorus, Gauteng MEMBERS: 15 MEETING: Monthly CONTRIBUTION: R450
Another reason the stokvel loans work for them is because some of the members do not have permanent jobs so banks are less likely to approve loan applications.
Stokvel Corner: When a new member wants to join the stokvel club it is advisable to make it clear that they want to be committed. They must be aware of their financial standing and ensure that it does not get in the way of meeting their monthly obligation to the stokvel.
A club should have rules and regulations which help the club work smoothly. It does not necessarily have to be an official document, it could be a book that all members can have access to, and they should sign to show that they understand how the stokvel functions.
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