Group of Gauteng friends formed Gatshwarangano stokvel to help each other with financial struggles

Ladies sharing ideas.
Ladies sharing ideas.
LWA/ Getty images

ESTABLISHMENT  

When young people get together, they  often focus on having fun and talking  about enjoying their youth.  But a group of Gauteng friends wanted  to think about their future, so they  formed the Gatshwaragano Social Club  where they don’t just focus on lifestyle  issues – they also talk about financial  and spiritual issues faced by the youth.

 Gatshwaragano, which means where  we work together, was formed by five  friends who invited more friends and  today the club has 21 members.  The aim of the club is for members  to support each other financially and  emotionally during difficult times. The  club also bought catering equipment  that comes in handy when there’s a  funeral or function. 

Read more| A group of friends share how they started their women-only stokvel to help with burials

MONEY MATTERS 

At their monthly meetings, each member  contributes R100 which goes into  their burial club account. An additional  R60 is paid by each member to the host  for catering. A member will be fined for  arriving late, or for not attending the  funeral of a member or their dependant.  There’s an additional fine for not  helping with catering for a funeral. 

Members agree that R100 per month  is not a lot of money but not everyone  can afford to bump up the contribution  now. So to increase revenue, the club  decided to use the money to borrow  to members to generate more income.  For each R100 a member borrows, there  is an interest charge of R30 which will  benefit the club.

 GROWING THE CLUB

 The club wants to change their bank  account so that they can have more  benefits. They are looking at things like  the stokvel accounts that are usually  provided by banks.  These types of accounts come with  free funeral policies for each member or  10 free transactions per month.  The club members love travelling  and want to explore South Africa.

 The stokvel has been to Mpumalanga three  times. This year the members are looking  forward to visiting the North West  for the first time. They then want to visit  the rest of South Africa’s provinces.

Read more | This Pretoria stokvel helps its members bury their loved one with dignity by contributing R500 a month

 BIGGEST PROBLEM 

Attendance or lack thereof is one of  the club’s biggest problems. As a result,  the club has created a rule that should  a member skip three consecutive  meetings, they will be given a written  warning and be kicked out if they skip  another month.

However, members  are now skipping every other month  to avoid the written warning, which  doesn’t solve the attendance problem.  The club has 20 women and one man.  They are trying hard to recruit more  men but when they invite men to visit,  the men are usually intimidated by the  many women in the club. 

The  NAME: Gatshwaragano Social Club  LOCATION: Gauteng  MEMBERS: 21  FORMED: 2014  MEETING: Monthly  CONTRIBUTION: R160 

Not all challenges are necessarily  problems. Gatshwaragano Social  Club has only one male member  in the club. This does not affect  their functionality as a club or  their progression. The lone male  member is not uncomfortable  in the presence of all the female  members. In fact, he has been  part of the club since its inception.

Read more| Members of Siyasizana Ladies stokvel explain how financial difficulties led them to assist one another

 USEFUL SOLUTIONS 

Gatshwaragano Social Club is already  struggling to get members  to attend meetings and adding  more members to the club might  make it worse.  The club should rather focus on  increasing their monthly contribution  and buying more equipment  that benefits their club.  They would then be able to do  more when a member loses a  loved one 

If you want your stokvel to  be featured in Move!, send us  your contact details and a picture  of your stokvel members to: move@media24.com