The concept of a stokvel has been around since the early 19th century, and it seems as if they are getting stronger with each passing day. In South Africa, a stokvel is one of the most popular strategies people are using to secure their financial future. The penetration of stokvels was due to the fact that the majority of the population never had access to the traditional banking facilities, but they had a genuine need to save, either for the normal financial security or towards a specific financial goal in the future. For instance, the following are some of the types of stokvels you will currently find in South Africa:
- Savings Stokvels – these are contribution clubs which promote savings amongst the members. With such clubs, members will contribute a fixed amount of money into a common pool, where they mutually agree on how to distribute the money, either on order or through a cycle where each member receives all or part of the pooled funds, one after the other until every member has received.
- Burial Stokvels – Burial stokvels provide material and non-material support to members who lost their loved ones. This arose after the migration of black workers into the gold mines, where the cost of funerals was found to be very prohibitive, especially the transportation of the body to the rural areas, as per the demands of the African traditions.
- Investments Stokvels – with investment stokvels, members have a common goal for which they make contributions towards. In most cases, they are to promote saving and bulk purchases amongst the members. Members contribute a fixed amount monthly and the money accumulates gaining returns on investment before it is expended towards a given business venture.