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Make your Christmas merry with stokvel savings

Unlock the value of collective buying power

Those who have been putting money away for months need to check now if everything balances.
Those who have been putting money away for months need to check now if everything balances.
Image: 123RF

There are 103 days left until Christmas.

It’s a good time for you to relook your finances and for those who have been putting money away – either on your own or in a group – should check if everything still balances out.

We are entering the jolly season, and Stokvel Wednesday encourages you to use the next two-and-a-half months or so to make better money choices to ease your money stress levels this festive season.

There are several ways you can do this, one of which is to look at how much you will need for food, clothes (for those who still believe in buying Xmas clothes) and gifts.

At the beginning of the year, we looked at how you can make individual and group savings work for you.

There are retail stores that offer various savings products, like Makro.

Massmart wholesale national commercial sales manager Andrietta van Veijeren says they give stokvels more buying power through bulk discounts and countless other money-saving benefits.

Andrietta van Veijren
Andrietta van Veijren
Image: supplied

“Stokvels, specifically grocery stokvels, have become even more popular among stretched South Africans, helping them save their hard-earned money. However, members looking to get the most value from these communal savings schemes must ensure their club establishes clear objectives and takes advantage of stokvel-specific deals, like Makro’s tailored discounts on frequently-bought, high-demand products, especially during peak stokvel-buying periods,” says Van Veijeren.

She says taking advantage of value-adding stokvel deals is essential to maximising the benefits for the stokvel members.

“Retailers now offer deals tailored to maximise the collective buying power of stokvel groups that come in various forms, such as exclusive discounts, bulk-buy promotions, special pricing and loyalty rewards.

“Makro offers extensive support to stokvel groups in SA by providing a wide variety of quality products, including food, meat and general merchandise. Stokvel members can obtain a card that identifies their group in the business to take advantage of value-added services and benefits like trolley dashes, competitions, annual stokvel events, exclusive pricing and additional weekday discounts,” says Van Veijeren.

“Makro has a wide range of products to cater for the needs of our Stokvel customers, but we have identified the top 200 food and cosmetic products specific to Stokvels that we price particularly for the Stokvel groups.

“Our range of products at Makro spans across popular categories such as appliances and electronics to food and liquor as well as clothing, toys, stationery and furniture. For Stokvel groups, Makro will have specific pricing on the top 200 articles – however, the groups can benefit from any other promotion we have available over this period of time.”

Van Veijeren says Makro also has gift cards that have a 3-year limit.

“Makro offers a gift card solution if the stokvel members opt to rather give each member their portion of the money saved on a gift card and then each member can shop the products they individually prefer.

“Makro offers the Stokvel the ability to save with us without having to pay any cost or additional fees and they can either use the money in Makro or withdraw it or choose to load the money on gift cards for each member to spend in-store.”

Van Veijeren says the store has more than 19,000 stokvels registered.

She gives these tips on starting a stokvel:

Define the stokvel’s objective: Setting clear objectives for a stokvel is essential for ensuring its success and maintaining a strong sense of purpose among its members. For example, determining a grocery stokvel’s objectives can include agreeing on the fixed monthly contribution and how the stokvel will be structured (whether payouts are monthly and rotational or at the end of the year).

Some retailers cater specifically to stokvel pay-out structures. Makro, for instance, offers a savings option allowing these clubs to deposit their collective funds into an account. Members can achieve significant savings, receive monthly statements detailing their savings progress and take advantage of numerous discounts when making bulk purchases or dividing up their orders – giving them more goods for their rands.

Create a stokvel constitution: Establish a solid foundation for your stokvel by drafting a detailed stokvel constitution that includes rules, guidelines and members’ responsibilities. This document should address a variety of potential scenarios, including situations where members can’t contribute or wish to withdraw funds unexpectedly. The constitution will also help members avoid disputes, foster trust, create clarity and ensure the stokvel runs smoothly.

Open a dedicated stokvel bank account: Members must open a bank account under the stokvel’s name for increased transparency and security. By doing so, the group can maintain a clear record of transactions and safeguard the pooled funds. The account should also require multiple signatories for transactions to prevent unauthorised access.


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