Unlocking the Power of Collective Saving: The Rise of Stokvel in South Africa

Stokvel concept represented by a broken piggy bank with coins.

Stokvel: A Community-Based Saving Scheme

The concept of stokvel, a term derived from “stock fairs”, has transformed the financial landscape of South Africa, providing a unique, community-based approach to saving and investing. A stokvel is an invitation-only club where a group of twelve or more individuals come together to form a rotating credit union or saving scheme.


The Power of Community and Collective Action

In a stokvel, each member contributes a fixed sum of money to a central fund at regular intervals – be it weekly, fortnightly or monthly. The accumulated money is then paid out to a different member each month, ensuring that each participant receives a lump sum at some point during the year. The regular meetings and the sense of community fostered by the stokvel act as a powerful motivator, encouraging members to save diligently and honour their commitments.


Diverse Range of Stokvels to Meet Varied Needs

The diverse range of stokvels reflects the varied needs and aspirations of their members. From basic stokvels that function as savings schemes for specific events, to grocery stokvels that collect and distribute grocery coupons, and investment groups that channel pooled funds into stocks and shares – the possibilities are endless. The versatility of stokvels makes them an attractive option for South Africans looking to save, invest, or simply enjoy the benefits of communal support.


A Significant Role in South Africa’s Financial Ecosystem

The popularity of stokvels is evident in their impressive numbers – approximately half of the adult population in South Africa are members of one of the 800,000 active stokvels, collectively investing around R50 billion each year. This substantial sum highlights the significant role that stokvels play in the financial ecosystem of the country.


Regulation and Support by NASASA

But stokvels are more than just financial entities; they are also a testament to the power of community and collective action. The regular meetings and social gatherings foster a sense of belonging and mutual support, while the educational aspect of some stokvels empowers members to make informed investment decisions. The success and sustainability of stokvels are also facilitated by the National Stokvel Association of South Africa (NASASA), which regulates these financial co-operatives. Established in 1988 by Andrew Lukhele, NASASA ensures that stokvels adhere to best practices, safeguarding the interests of their members and contributing to the overall credibility and effectiveness of this indigenous financial model.


In conclusion, the rise of Stokvel in South Africa has revolutionized the way communities come together for financial empowerment. By harnessing the power of collective saving and mutual support, Stokvel has become a beacon of hope for many, proving that when people come together, anything is possible. Embrace the power of community and discover the magic of Stokvel today.