Stokvels as a Saving Method

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Stokvels is one of the oldest saving method used by people as a means of saving money. There are many Stokvels associations in South Africa that you could join in order to save and invest money.

Stokvels are group savings schemes providing for mutual financial assistance as well as social and entertainment needs.

Stokvels are seen as a traditional way to save as it is safe and has been around for many years. The name “stokvel” comes from the term “stock fairs”, as the rotating cattle auctions of English settlers in the Eastern Cape during the early 19th century were known.

Stokvels are request of only twelve or more people per club functioning as a rotating credit unions or saving system in South Africa. Members contribute fixed amount of money to a central fund on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.

Stokvels usually have a constitution which dictates the size of the contributions, when the accumulated money is to be paid out and the roles and responsibilities of the members. Each month a different member of the club receives the money in the fund, which was collected during that period. Defaults on contribution are very rare as other members will know if one person haven’t paid your contribution, and also because there are regular meetings held as they are a reminder of what you will gain when it is your turn. Depending on the type of stokvels, the members can use the collected fund for their own use, for payment or investment purposes.

These take different forms depending on the purpose of the scheme… ranging from burial stokvels, savings/money stokvels, grocery stokvels to investment stokvels to birthday celebration stokvels. Burial stokvels have higher membership and are highly concentrated competed to the other stokvels according to stats.



It is estimated that one in every two adults in South Africans is a member of at least one of 89 000 stokvels or investment system. Black adult South Africans invest approximately R12 billion in stokvels a year.

‘’Stokvels are a strong market in the area of traditional collective saving, and are estimated to be worth R25 billion. There are 8.6 million stokvel members in South Africa which represents 23% of the adult population and an estimated 421 000 stokvels in total.” This is according to African Response’s latest survey on the status and market potential of stokvels.

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Name: Kathryn Main
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