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Members’ dreams possible through property stokvel

Disadvantaged, financially excluded people can now own a home via HOPE

Members of HOPE Property Stokvel at one of their plots in the Midrand area
Members of HOPE Property Stokvel at one of their plots in the Midrand area
Image: SUPPLIED

“To be honest, I had viewed owning property as something that would only happen for me maybe in the next 10 years.”

Those were the words of 31-year-old Itumeleng Mokale, who now owns land as a result of joining HOPE Property Stokvel.

HOPE (which stands for “Helping Our People Exceed”) was formed in 2018 by property investor Bontle Zweni. The main aim of the stokvel is to enable disadvantaged and financially excluded people to own land and property.

“Some of us were blacklisted due to financial mistakes we made at a young age, so being approved for a bond is not always possible.

"I also don’t earn a lot of money, so with my profile, I probably would not be approved for a bond. The stokvel has made it possible for me to own a property now,” said Mokale.

After hearing of the stokvel through word of mouth in 2020, and learning that it was formed by someone he had known for many years, Mokale decided to join.

Over and above the trust that he gained after doing his research, another green flag for Mokale was the transparency which prevails within the stokvel. While transactions and some of the stokvel’s operations may take place digitally, HOPE still prioritises regular meetings where members are updated and engaged.

As a result of his membership and consistent contributions, Mokale’s wife and three-year-old daughter will very soon have a place they can comfortably call home.

In order to join the stokvel, a non-refundable fee of R500 is required. This fee goes towards all the necessary paperwork and administration. Thereafter, members have a choice between four different payment plans,  which start at a minimum of R2,550 per month.

For Zweni, starting the stokvel was very important as it would help ordinary people discover what was financially possible for them through the power of unity.

“It seems most people have the mentality that you can only buy a home through the bank. If you’ve been turned down by the bank then you aren’t able to own a home unless you wait for an RDP,” she said.

HOPE Property Stokvel purchases land and divides it among the number of people, enabling each member to own a piece of land on which they can build their home. Once the land has been bought, stokvel members then come together again to contribute towards the building of their homes. Currently, the stokvel owns three plots of land in the Midrand area, two of which are one hectare and one 2.5 hectares.

“After we’ve got our title deed, there’s an application that is called township establishment. Once we’ve got our township establishment approval, people can then start building,” clarified Zweni.

She also added that in order to cut costs, an architect had been appointed to come up with a few house designs from which members can choose. However, the designs are not intended to limit members.  

“If someone would like something different and they have the budget for it, they are welcome to do it as long as they follow the standard, which has been set by the stokvel. Things such as the colour, the windows and the roof need to be the same.”

In the near future, HOPE Property Stokvel aims to venture into retail properties and low-priced rental units.

“The main thing is to get a block of flats where people will be getting rental income. Now that we’ve got our own homes, how do we create a platform where people will be getting money? That’s where rental income comes in,” said Zweni.

Notable Facts

Taking Stok! – HOPE Property Stokvel

Established: November 2018

Members: 62

Estimated worth: R6m

Successes:

  • Since its inception, the stokvel has managed to purchase three plots of land to the value of R5m. These plots are legal, recognised accordingly by the municipality and have fulfilled all compliance as required by law.
  • The stokvel continues to grow in membership. Since 2018, HOPE has gone from only 12 members to a total of 62.
  • Since the beginning of May 2022, two full-time administrative staff members have been hired.

Challenges:

  • With plenty of scams out there (especially those related to land and housing), promoting the stokvel has been quite challenging. Many people are hopeless and sceptical, thus not willing to invest their money in anything land-related.

Red flags (advice from Hope Property Stokvel on what to consider before joining a property stokvel):

  • Beware of unrealistic sweet deals. If something seems too good to be true, it most probably is. Take into account factors such as location and the amount of money required for property development in order to determine if a deal is realistic.
  • Do your due diligence. Make sure you are familiar with the stokvel’s vision, constitution as well as exactly how the stokvel works.
  • Check with the municipality to confirm if that particular stokvel does indeed own the piece of land that they claim to own.

If you would like to see your stokvel featured, send us an email on MasangoN@arena.africa

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