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Stokvels – Primary means of saving for many South Africans

Ask Afrika is conducting independent research on an ongoing basis to understand the socio-economic impact that the Coronavirus, lockdown and gradual reopening of the economy has on South Africans. The latest results show that during advanced level 3 of the lockdown, citizens have been mindful of their spending, with half having to borrow money to cope with the lockdown.

In the results of the week 17 (22 – 28 July 2020), specific focus is on Stokvels and informal savings clubs. Here are some of the key findings:

24% of respondents are, or have been in the past, a member of a stokvel or informal savings club.
Grocery Stokvels and general savings clubs are the two top types of stokvel, or informal savings clubs’ individuals subscribed to.
Those who belong to a stokvel mainly live in Gauteng, work full time and are between the ages of 25 – 35 years.
85% who belong to a stokvel or informal savings club have children in the household.
72% of those currently a stokvel/ informal savings club member, indicated that this is their primary means of saving.
44% claimed or requested financial assistance from their stokvel during lockdown, of which 69% were paid the agreed amount and 31% were paid less.
Monthly contributions to a stokvel ranges between R150 to R300 and 15% more than R500.

These facts correlate with the latest Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor that recorded the highest percentage of respondents (67%) saying they use an informal savings instrument – a stokvel, burial society, grocery scheme or unbanked cash. This figure has increased steadily year on year from 54% in 2015 when Old Mutual started tracking informal saving. Although membership of stokvels has declined from 44% to 34% this year, there are more people now contributing to grocery schemes, from 9% in 2019, to 23% this year.

Click here to access the research results.

Click here to view the OM Savings and Investment Monitor.

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