FORMATION AND STRUCTURE: Two years ago, two friends decided to start a stokvel after they realised, they did not have anything to help them in the event of the death of a loved one. The friends decided to start a club that would not contribute money but groceries to bereaved families in their time of need. Members of the club are divided into different groups.
Each group has its own grocery list and members rotate in each group. The stokvel is quite casual because they do not have a uniform or hold monthly meetings like most stokvels do. Members are also not expected to attend funerals to support their fellow member.
The grocery contribution is enough. Should a member wish for the club to attend the funeral of their loved one, she would have to provide transport for them. All groceries need to be in two days before the funeral. Club members only meet officially twice a year.
This is besides when they have to buy things for a funeral. Members pay a R100 fine if they deliver their groceries late. A member may register nine people as their beneficiaries. When a beneficiary passes on, a member will send a message to the club’s WhatsApp group and they will start making arrangements right away. As soon as the member gets their hands on the death certificate, they have to send it to the group.
OUT AND ABOUT: The founders of the club love to travel and have been doing so for years. Now when they travel, they invite stokvel members to join their trips. These outings are not part of the stokvel and are completely optional.
A BRIGHT FUTURE: Members of Lifestyle Ladies Club have intentions of growing their stokvel. They want to have at least 30 members soon.
The more members they have, the more groceries they would be able to give to the family of the deceased and add more items onto their grocery list.
Members are also considering a uniform for the club for when they do decide to go to a funeral to support one of their own. The uniform will make them stand out; they say.
TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS: The challenges occur when members make late contributions, which will inconvenience a bereaved family. This happened only once, and the club put an end to that quite quickly.
The club also faces the challenge of members not showing up for meetings because they are unavailable. And, they often struggle to get all 17 members under one roof.
NAME: Lifestyle Ladies Club LOCATION: Pretoria MEMBERS: 17 FORMED: 2017 MEETINGS: Twice a year and when there is a funeral CONTRIBUTION: R200.
An informal stokvel that lacks a strong structure may be quick to fall apart. Without solid rules and guidelines, the club may as well not exist. Lifestyle Ladies Club may face challenges when two or more family members die in the same month. Since the club does not have money saved, individuals will have to empty their bank accounts for grocery money.
Think about the following: Meeting regularly may encourage a sense of formality among members. Meetings that only take place once or twice a year may not be prioritised or seen as important. The club may also consider saving some money for rainy days, even if the contribution is as little as R50 per month.
If you want your stokvel to be featured in Move! send us your contact details and a picture of your stokvel members to: Boitumelo. Matshaba@ movemag.co.za.