ESTABLISHMENT: It is something that touches everyone. When someone dies, the last thing you want to be thinking about is where you’ll get money for burial. That’s why a small group of women formed a burial society, Tsholanang Social Club. They wanted to help each other in their time of need. Two decades later the ladies, who are now between the ages of 40 and 50, are still going strong.
ALL IN THE UNIFORM: The 11 members changed their uniform from T-shirts to denim skirts with matching denim aprons, to accommodate changes in members’ body shapes as they grow older. Each member’s apron has a different coloured trimming and they wear a T-shirt that matches this trimming.
LET’S TALK MONEY: Members contribute R150 monthly and the money is used towards a funeral of a loved one. The club covers stokvel members and their immediate family. If a member of the stokvel dies, they will pay R5 000 to the family and R4 000 if the member’s husband or child dies.
They aren’t just limited to deaths. The stokvel buys a gift valued at R500 should a member host a birthday party, bridal shower or a housewarming. A R20 fine is issued if a member is late for a meeting while R30 is the fine for absenteeism without an apology.
OUT AND ABOUT: At the end of the year members make time to have a good time. Members of the club are fond of picnics and this is how they usually close off their social year in December. They have visited resorts such as Savumash Lodge in Temba, Fountains Valley and Derdepoort Recreation Resort for their year-end functions.
TRIALS: Should a member lose a dependent while they are behind on their monthly contribution by three months or R150 more, the stokvel will not pay out the R4 000 and the member would forfeit all benefits. When the group initially started, they had a rule that if a member died and they hadn’t paid their contribution for six months or more, the club wouldn’t pay out.
It was only after a member wasn't paid out that they decided to review the rule. The member was behind on her contribution but the club decided not to pay out, which didn’t sit well with some members .
NAME: Tsholanang Social Club LOCATION: Mabopane, north of Pretoria MEMBERS: 11 FORMED: 1997 MEETING: Monthly CONTRIBUTION:R150
Stokvel Corner: The same way you would pay your rent and your child’s school fees, so too should you prioritise your monthly stokvel contributions. Paying your monthly premiums is essential, it proves that you are a member of the club and that you are working towards the goals of the club, whether it is a funeral or any other stokvel.
If you don’t pay, be prepared to deal with the repercussion. It isn’t fair to give members a tough time about claiming money, especially when you did not follow the rules. Neither is it fair or ethical to want members to break the rules or sympathise with you because you failed to follow the rules of the stokvel.
What to think about: When making rules, the stokvel needs to take a democratic stance and allow members to vote for each rule to make sure the majority agrees. Rules need to be in the best interest of members and the club. Members also need to stick to the rules to avoid conflict in the stokvel.
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