Stokvels and society's success is all about relationships, support and understanding

South Africa’s stokvel industry is worth R45bn and it only continues to grow. Picture: Independent Newspapers.

South Africa’s stokvel industry is worth R45bn and it only continues to grow. Picture: Independent Newspapers.

Published Apr 2, 2024


By: Rapule Mahlangu

Did you know the National Stokvel Association of South Africa (Nasasa) estimates that more than 11 million South Africans are members of a stokvel?

In case you didn’t know, that’s around 40% of the adult population – which makes stokvels a primary source of savings in a country with a poor savings culture.

South Africa’s stokvel industry is worth R45bn and it only continues to grow, economic uncertainty has turned managing stokvels into a daunting task.

As a group savings platform, a stokvel’s success demands a mental shift into human understanding and relationship management to properly succeed.

A shift in mindset and relationship strategies can alleviate the pressures associated with stokvels and pave the way to success.

Relationships and support systems have the power to transform stokvel management stress into peace of mind and prosperity – it just needs to be nurtured in the right ways.

Build strong relationships within stokvels

Central to the success of any stokvel is the strength of the relationships among its members.

Open and honest communication, mutual respect for boundaries, and a foundation of trust are the cornerstones of harmonious stokvel dynamics.

Regular meetings provide opportunities for members to voice concerns, share ideas, and celebrate achievements, fostering a sense of unity and solidarity within the group.

Understand and address member concerns

Financial education is often a significant concern for stokvel members, many of whom may lack the necessary knowledge to make informed financial decisions.

Access to financial advisers and financial literacy resources can empower members to navigate financial challenges and mitigate risks effectively.

One of the relationships to nurture in this journey is definitely with a financial adviser. That makes all the difference between failure and sustained success, especially when large groups are involved.

Additionally, the prospect of member deaths raises legitimate concerns within a group that’s working towards a common financial goal.

Quick claims pay-outs and clear processes for beneficiaries can ease the burden on grieving families and ensure continuity within the group.

Support in times of need

Stokvels traditionally provide financial assistance to members' families in the event of a death. This support helps alleviate the financial strain associated with funeral expenses and provides much-needed peace of mind during difficult times.

Something as simple as a funeral plan can make sure that your stokvel contributions continue after death. By offering payment protection on funeral cover, Metropolitan’s comprehensive funeral plan ensures financial security and support, empowering groups to thrive in any economic climate.

Empowering communities for the future

By fostering strong relationships, promoting financial literacy, and embracing innovative solutions, stokvels have become powerful vehicles for economic empowerment within South African communities.

Through collective action and mutual support, stokvel members can navigate the challenges of today's economic landscape and build a brighter future for themselves and their families.

At the end of the day, it is a financial agreement between a group of people, and that means relationship management and compassionate understanding play a crucial role in stokvel success.

* Mahlangu is the head of Associations and Affinity Groups from Metropolitan.