Stokvel success demands shift in mindset and relationship strategies

Regular meetings important for members

Sibongile Mashaba Deputy News Editor
Rapule Mahlangu, Metropolitan head of associations and affinity groups.
Rapule Mahlangu, Metropolitan head of associations and affinity groups.
Image: TKG

Belonging to a stokvel comes with a lot of benefits as these groupings are guided by their respective constitutions which are binding on all members.

The rules stokvels go by may include cut-off dates for making contributions, when and how the savings will be distributed and/or invested.

In their nature, stokvels are groupings among people who know each other – families, friends and neighbours.

However, in the day and age of social media where various platforms are used to share information, some people recruit others to join their stokvels.

It is important for you to do research about any society you’re considering of joining and if you are thinking of starting one, arm yourself with information that will not only get you membership but guide you on how to manage and make it grow.

There is a lot of money exchange that happens in stokvels yet so many people lack financial education to be able to make better decisions.

Many have also been scammed mainly because they were not informed about the functionality of stokvels.

Rapule Mahlangu, Metropolitan head of associations and affinity groups, says economic uncertainty has turned managing stokvels into a daunting task.

“As a group savings platform, stokvel success demands a mental shift into human understanding and relationship management to properly succeed. A shift in mindset and relationship strategies can alleviate the pressures associated with stokvels and pave the way for success.

“Relationships and support systems have the power to transform stokvel management stress into peace of mind and prosperity – it just needs to be nurtured in the right ways.”

Mahlangu says central to the success of any stokvel, is the strength of the relationships among its members.

He says relationship management and compassionate understanding also play a crucial role in the success of a stokvel.

“Open and honest communication, mutual respect for boundaries, and a foundation of trust are the cornerstones of harmonious stokvel dynamics. Regular meetings provide opportunities for members to voice concerns, share ideas and celebrate achievements, fostering a sense of unity and solidarity within the group.”

He says financial education is often a significant concern for stokvel members, many of whom may lack the necessary knowledge to make informed financial decisions.

“Financial advisors and literacy resources can empower members to navigate financial challenges and mitigate risks effectively. One of the relationships to nurture in this journey is definitely with a financial adviser. That makes all the difference between failure and sustained success, especially when large groups are involved.

“The prospect of member deaths raises legitimate concerns within a group that’s working towards a common financial goal. Quick claims pay-outs and clear processes for beneficiaries can ease the burden on grieving families and ensure continuity within the group.

“By fostering strong relationships, promoting financial literacy, and embracing innovative solutions, stokvels have become powerful vehicles for economic empowerment within South African communities.

“Through collective action and mutual support, stokvel members can navigate the challenges of today's economic landscape and build a brighter future for themselves and their families.”

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