• Shaun Bateman

Stokvels can be used as a tool to weather the economic crisis

By CEO of BSK Marketing and founder of Stokvel Academy Busisiwe Skenjana

July marked the National Savings Month in South Africa and this year things are a bit different. Most South Africans have experienced and are dealing with massive financial strains as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the national Lockdown which was announced in March this year.

Businesses had to close, companies were liquidated, and millions of South Africans lost their jobs. Both the pandemic and lockdown have left a bitter taste in the months of most, if not, all of us.

Using the remainder of the year wisely….

Even though we are only halfway through the year, most people have come to realise the significance of saving for rainy days. The year 2020 has taught us that adopting a saving culture and good saving habits is very important.

But now the BIG question would be how we save when we do not even have money for food at the end of the month. My answer is through a Stokvel.

Do not be a victim to false promises

I am not referring to the fly by night WhatsApp Gifting Stokvels which have been making rounds and promising people unbelievable returns in a short period.

I am talking about a properly, structured Stokvel. I am taking about Stokvels with a mission, vision, and goals and made up of individuals with the same understanding that you cannot be a millionaire overnight (unless you win the lotto).

Unlocking financial freedom through Stokvels

Stokvels have been around for decades and have shaped our communities. They have helped many to reach their dreams. They have forced many to adopt discipline when it comes to saving money every month. They have indirectly taught many that they can save even though they are pensioners or social grant recipients.

Amongst other interventions, South Africans can protect themselves from poverty through the power of stokvels. There is a great need to educate communities that Stokvels are not only meant for December groceries or for lending a helpings hand during funerals or weddings. We need to demonstrate to South Africans that Stokvels can be used to create and generate wealth.

Stokvels determined to soldier on despite the COVID-19 pandemic

In June 2020 Stokvel Academy conducted a survey to evaluate the impact COVID-19 has had on Stokvels. We found that although 56% are unemployed mostly due to lockdown, Stokvel members are determined to continue saving and contributing to the Stokvel.

According to our survey, 79% of the respondents are still making their monthly contributions despite the COVID-19 pandemic and recent spike in the unemployment rate. We also found that 85% of stokvels are using WhatsApp to communicate during the lockdown. This is an indication that there is an opportunity to communicate with stokvels using digital platforms. The younger generation is active on Facebook.

Stokvels are here to stay

With 11.2 Million people in South Africa belonging to Stokvels and with a membership that boasts a myriad of personalities, ranging from your ordinary “Gogos” down the road, a millennial, and to the CEO of a blue-chip company.

Geographically, Gauteng has the highest percentage of Stokvels, followed by Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, and North West respectively. The national stokvel membership is estimated to be worth R44 billion per annum.

Stokvels pervade all levels of society and they are here to stay. So as we close off the National Savings Month this July, encouraging and enabling people to take control of their financial future and focusing on financial education throughout the month, let's also remind people and educate them about the power Stokvels have in contributing towards a financially savvy South Africa.

For more information on our Survey and how to use Stokvels to generate and create wealth, you can contact us and follow us on our social media platforms. Contact Us: 011 478 7840 OR email

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