Stokvels are Important to People’s Burial Plans
Stokvels help to get around the cost of living today as life is becoming impossibly expensive and the saying ‘you need to save for a rainy day’ has become archaic. Jobs are under threat and the banks are reluctant to lend money too. To save for a house may take so long, choosing a coffin may come first.
Stokvels – A South African Tradition
Every year n South Africa, millions of Rands are invested in the thousands of stokvels in South Africa. Most black South Africans belong to a stokvel. As a member of a stokvel they will contribute a fixed amount on a regular basis and take it in turns to receive a payment. Not all the stokvels are the same and burial societies have also come about from the stokvel tradition where members contribute and claim for burial costs when next of kin pass away.
The Relief of a Decent Burial even for the Poor
These days stokvels are no longer just for those people in need of financial assistance with a burial – they are a means for creating wealth and security for members. There have been changes in the stokvel industry and there are even stokvels that are invested in the stock market and other investment.
Stokvels are also important when it comes to death, and members have a collective saving schemes towards providing their loved ones with a dignified funeral. The main purpose for a burial society is to provide for the cost of a funeral on the death of a member. At the time of death, the family members are also relieved of household- and other duties around the time of the funeral.
Burial societies came about because of the impossibility of coping with all the costs associated with funerals – coffin, tents, transport and catering. Today, burial societies provide funeral cover and some kind of social insurance against paupers’ funerals.
So Many People Being Served Indicative of Something Good
The Finscope Consumer Survey has conducted studies on burial societies for more than 10 years, and they have discovered that there are tens of thousands of burial societies serving some 11.7 million direct members, not to mention all the dependents of members. Most members hail from Gauteng.
In the black community, burial societies are the second largest form of member-based organizations, with the church being number one. Another interesting aspect is that women are in the majority in this sector, and they represent more than 61% of membership. It is mind-blowing that Finscope research estimates that the membership of burial societies and stokvels contribute up to R44 billion to the national economy.
Burials costs are massively expensive in South Africa and funeral undertakers happen to be unregulated – they can ask what they want. Burial societies and stokvels provide much needed cash.
A Sense of Belonging
Today, burial societies collect small monthly premiums and then pay out a pre-determined benefit when somebody passes away. Belonging to a Stokvel provides the member with a sense of community as well as social support during a difficult period.
Group schemes such as Stokvels simply help people pay for a big expense like a funeral, that they would never normally be able to afford on their own.
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