Finweek English Edition - - MONEY - Jes­sica Hub­bard

Ac­cord­ing to African Re­sponse, four prov­inces dom­i­nate stokvel distri­bu­tion: Gaut­eng has 24% of them, Lim­popo 20%, North West 1 1 % and KwaZulu-Natal 14%. The province with the low­est num­ber of stokvels, just 6%, is the West­ern Cape. While there are pro­vin­cial vari­ances in terms of the pro­por­tions, stokvel mem­bers are both men (42.6%) and women (57.4%).

Re­sults showed that mem­bers mainly fall into LSM 5 and 6 (32% and 27% re­spec­tively), but sav­ing schemes also at­tract South Africans in LSM 4 through to 10, with higher LSM cat­e­gories (8 to 10) ac­count­ing for a fifth of stokvels. pe­ti­tor. As a re­sult of the large pools of money f loat­ing around in th­ese in­for­mal “sav­ings com­mu­ni­ties”, banks and other fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions are try­ing to find a way to tap into stokvels – or, at the very least, find out more about them. “There’s a lot more sav­ing go­ing on than [for­mal in­sti­tu­tions] re­alise, and they need to learn to em­bed them­selves in com­mu­ni­ties and learn about the “softer” side of stokvels in or­der to have a tan­gi­ble im­pact,” says Is­mail.

Ni­chol­son agrees that banks are def­i­nitely look­ing closely at stokvels, and “if one doesn’t have it on the plan some­where, then they are not look­ing ahead.” She says that Old Mu­tual has a burial so­ci­ety prod­uct in or­der to “test the water”. The big wigs will have to tread care­fully, how­ever, as they are set­ting foot on tra­di­tional ground. It would also be dan­ger­ous to dis­cour­age South Africans from us­ing the one sav­ings ve­hi­cle that ap­pears to be work­ing for them…

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