A GOOD FOUNDATION
In any formation, having clear rules are important. They will be the foundation of whatever is to come. Pfukani Burial Society is going through challenges that stem from a shaky start and not having clear-cut rules and regulations to successfully run a well-oiled and functioning burial society.
In the foundation phase, a constitution needs to be drafted and members are obliged to follow it but that hasn’t been the case for Pfukani. Sannah Rambau, a Pfukani member, says they need help in solidifying their society.
“We need help with constitution, discipline, handling of money and following up on responsibilities each of us needs to fulfil to make it work,” she says.
THE PAY OUT
The burial society contributes R200 monthly and when a member or family member whose name appears in the books passes on, R7 000 is paid out. Like with many other stokvels, a death certificate serves as proof that indeed the member is deceased. “We cannot compromise on things like that. If this is what we say in the constitution, it needs to be what we stick to,” Sannah says.
The burial society was established years ago, however, because of money being mishandled, things fell apart. Now, the 10 remaining women took it upon themselves to keep it going. “The problem is we started over but with the old way of doing things.
This is dangerous,” Sannah says. She doesn’t want to give up on their club, though. Burial societies are the ones that carry many families when someone dies, so Sannah believes they can restore Pfukani if they get the necessary assistance to continue being there for one another.
Stokvel Corner: Sibongile Khumalo, product head FNB Savings and Cash Investments, says, “Work with people you trust – ensure there’s a common goal you are working towards. Make sure there’s transparency – by creating a constitution and ensure there’s proper recordkeeping.” Khumalo adds that having a constitution is crucial as it will ensure that you identify the rules which everybody is bound by, like:
- Contributions, new members joining the stokvel, members exiting the stokvel, etc.
- The governance structure for the stokvel – what roles do you want to have for your office bearers, for example. Will you also have deputies for each role?
- The constitution needs to be reviewed at least once a year to ensure it is still relevant and to ensure new members are also clued up on the constitution.
- Take minutes at your meetings
- Keep financial records of your stokvels.
- Consider opening a bank account (you will also need a resolution for who the signatories on the bank account will be).
- Agree on how much needs to be contributed and by when (this should be in your constitution).
- Keep a record of who has contributed and who has not.
- Agree on how those who have not contributed will be handled (for example, are there penalty fees for delayed contribution?).
- Open a suitable bank account.
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