Stokvels worth R44bn
South Africa has 811 830 stokvels with a total estimated value of R44 billion, according to a survey released yesterday.
“The value of the stokvel market would create a bigger sector in South Africa than the agriculture or electricity sectors,” said Mamapudi Nkgadima, the managing director of African Response, in a statement.
A nationwide survey by research company African Response found there are 11.4-million stokvel members in South Africa.
“To put this in perspective, the population of a city made up of all the stokvel members would be larger than any of our major metros, including Joburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban,” said Nkgadima.
Stokvels are defined as group savings schemes providing for mutual financial assistance, as well as social and entertainment needs.
The most popular type of stokvel is for savings with 47% of respondents making use of this.
It is followed by a burial society stokvel, of which 41% of respondents are members.
Grocery stokvels, which buy in bulk from various retailers at the end of the year, make up 20% of stokvel membership.
Investment stokvels make up 5% of the total stokvel market.
“Stokvels are no longer the domain of people in need of a collective pot for burials and groceries but provide a medium for which to learn about and jointly invest money with the aim of creating wealth and security for its members,” said Nkgadima.
The survey found that the average number of members per stokvel was 27.
“This varies a good deal depending on what type of stokvel it is. Burial societies tend to gather much higher membership numbers while investment and birthday stokvels are closer, more intimate friendship groups.”
Gauteng has the highest penetration of stokvels – 23%, followed by Limpopo – 20%.
The majority of stokvel members are women – at 57%. The exception is investment stokvels where men – 52% – make up the majority.
The average monthly contribution to a stokvel is R210.
“Burial societies have a lower than average contribution of approximately R115 per month, whereas investment stokvels generate much higher contributions -- from between R300 and R500.”
66% of stokvels had a bank account, while the remaining 34% were managed by stokvel members.
African Response interviewed 2000 people in August and September to compile the survey.