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Siyavutha brings value of property investment to ordinary folk

Soweto-based stokvel educates members about other options of investing

Siyavutha Property Stokvel enables ordinary people to invest in and to benefit from commercial real estate.
Siyavutha Property Stokvel enables ordinary people to invest in and to benefit from commercial real estate.

Siyavutha Property Stokvel was formed in 2021 and is aimed at addressing economic transformation by enabling ordinary members of the community to unite and invest in commercial real estate.

The Soweto-based property stokvel currently consists of 89 members and is operated largely via the StokFella platform. With a name that connotes to being on fire, the stokvel seeks to address some of the most burning issues in Mzansi’s economic landscape. 

“What actually motivated me to join was the fact that it was young people who pitched this property stokvel to us.

"When listening to them, the eyes of our understanding became so enlightened. We could see that it [the stokvel] was going far. We couldn’t let the opportunity to become members pass us by,” said Cynthia Thandi Molefe, who is over the age of 50 and joined the stokvel in 2021 soon after its formation.

Although she admitted to not being a member of any stokvel before this, Molefe was impressed by the economic transformation and wealth-creation potential that Siyavutha carries. Reflecting on her journey with Siyavutha Property Stokvel thus far, she labelled her membership experience as beautiful and mentioned the growth aspect of it as one of her greatest highlights.

“Every day I see them growing, every day I see them becoming better and definitely it’s such a beautiful journey,” she said.

Although much of Siyavutha’s operations take place digitally, meet-ups are held where education and empowerment take place.
Although much of Siyavutha’s operations take place digitally, meet-ups are held where education and empowerment take place.

Outside of the growth achieved and the economic benefits which Siyavutha provides, members are also educated and empowered through the stokvel.

“Siyavutha educates communities, making them aware that they can build their own private sector which will address the socioeconomic crisis through a commercial property fund.

I would say Siyavutha Property Stokvel is a game-changing system for our young people and even elderly people. It will definitely liberate us economically,” said Molefe.

Members have the choice between different packages which are focused on short- to medium- and long-term investment. Although each package is priced differently, the minimum joining fee for the stokvel’s packages is R200 and the minimum contribution is R340 per month.

Siyavutha caters for different kinds of investors who can choose between different investment options that are most suited to their needs at that particular point in time. This is according to the stokvel’s chairperson, Sibusiso Sibeko.

“They [members] have the option of investing in property to receive dividends. We’ve also got an investment over a four-year period.

And then there are members that choose to be part and parcel of the shareholding of a property. They then join existing shareholders of that property and go with that property mandate, where the property mandate is used to build an asset portfolio,” he clarified.

Although much of the stokvel’s operations take place digitally, in-person meetings are still held where members are updated, educated and empowered regarding the world of commercial real estate, as well as the opportunities that exist.

Sibeko added that the idea of a commercial property stokvel was a no-brainer due to the wealth potential which the stokvel industry carries.

“Stokvels in SA are phenomenal because they thrive in poor communities. Stokvels contribute around R45bn to the economy.

"And commercial real estate is a very significant asset in economics and the world economy. The tool is the one that addresses what was never addressed post-1994, which is economic transformation,” said Sibeko.

Through property investment and development, Sibeko believes the stokvel will address the consumerism that communities are subjected to.

“Siyavutha addresses this inherited generational poverty that continues to oppress our communities and townships through commercial asset wealth acquisition that are for business purposes.”

Moreover, Siyavutha Property Stokvel is linked to Siyavutha Holdings, which is a private company that serves as the stokvel’s legal arm that enables members to be part of the vision of building an asset portfolio. The portfolio is one that tackles issues of entrepreneurship, unemployment as well as creating a business network to operate on commercial real estate properties.

Since 2021, Siyavutha has seen multiple successes. These include growth in membership as well as working together with the Centre for Enterprise Sustainability to equip members with basic skills necessary for the development and running of commercial real estate.

Equally, the stokvel has not been immune to the ordinary challenges which include some members defaulting on their payments on certain months.

In the near future, Siyavutha Property Stokvel aims to continue growing bigger and stronger, with a larger and more aggressive portfolio ranging from R50m to R150m quite high on their list of goals.

The stokvel also aims to diversify and address the issue of food security through investing in land for agricultural purposes.

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