SOME OF US are graduates, Doctors, IT Specialists, Administrators, media specialists, and so on, through the Stokvels schemes our parents joined as a form to take care of their families.
And today -the concept although some regard as debunk for reasons best known to them- continues to produce the best out of compromising situations.
Classical example ask Absa and Pick n Pay, two of the country’s top corporates that are now considering Stokvel as an economic emancipation.
As a result, both organizations have launched a grocery Stokvel account that allows Stokvels saving for groceries to earn interest on their savings until they spend the money at the store.
Stokvel members are required to deposit their savings directly into a specially designated Absa savings account, the Grocery Stokvel Account. This can be done at any Absa branch or ATM.
The first cash deposit made by the stokvel each month is free. Members can also transfer money to the stokvel’s account at no cost.
Money deposited into this account earns an interest rate of 3.75% a year for balances over R50.
Pick n Pay says this compares favourably with other types of stokvel accounts on the market where the balance has to be R20000 before interest can be earned.
However, in order to benefit from the interest, the money in this account can only be spent at Pick n Pay.
“Our stokvel propositions are tailored in response to the needs of our customers and represent an informal way of enabling members to start saving and become active participants in the stokvel economy,” says Thami Cele, head of savings and investments at Absa retail and business banking.
His counterpart Papi Rapolai, general manager for wholesale and stokvels at Pick n Pay, agrees that Stokvel groups saving for groceries or other store-bought essentials can use the new Grocery Stokvel Account as a savings mechanism.
It is safe and convenient to use and they don’t have to carry the cash when making their bulk purchase, he said.
One family from my neighbourhood in Naledi, Soweto is a toast of town having built a state of the art house through the Stokvel scheme.
In SA millions of black communities still continue to use this form, resulting in a reported R50bn investment that has triggered corporate sector to consider it as an economic opportunity and a better way to improve one’s life.