'Stokvels should be organised'

Nomusa Cembi

Nomusa Cembi

It is high time that the informal savings market stop operating under the radar, Stokvel Company CEO Simon White said yesterday.

Speaking before hundreds of members of different stokvels and savings clubs at a stokvel economic empowerment indaba in Vereeniging, White said stokvels should benefit from banks and insurance companies they use to deposit their savings.

He said both the stokvels and banking institutions needed to change the way they operated.

He blamed the banks for not developing the informal savings market and not coming up with innovative products.

"When they think of stokvels they think death and come up with funeral covers. They don't develop their products on stokvels.

He stressed that the informal savings market needed to be organised so that they could be taken seriously by the banks.

The stokvel company's mission is to harness and unlock the productive capacity of stokvels.

The stokvel sector has a membership in excess of eight million and saves over R12 billion a year.

One of the speakers, Johnny Tsotetsi, head of economic development in the Sedibeng district, urged stokvel members to take advantage of opportunities that have been presented by South Africa hosting the Fifa 2010 soccer World Cup.