Ray Maota Ladies count money at a stokvel meeting.Stokvels attract more women than men,with 57% of women taking part, comparedto only 43% of men, the African Responsesurvey found.(Image: Bay State Banner)MEDIA CONTACTS• Mamapudi NkgadimaAfrican Response: MD+27 11 709 7888RELATED ARTICLES• SA to host 2012 business congress• Using exotic woods to tackle poverty• New homes for low-income families• Waste drive reaps rewardsSoweto resident Gerald Pitsoe treated himself to a slightly damaged silver-grey luxury sedan. But soon it’s going to be as good as new – thanks to the money he gets from his stokvel membership.“I don’t even have to ask the bank for a loan,” he says, of the funds needed to repair his pride and joy.Pitsoe, a Metro Police officer from Protea suburb in Soweto, belongs to a masigolisane (rotational) stokvel.In his stokvel there are more than 20 members who contribute weekly to a joint fund. Each Monday the collection of money is paid out to one member.His is typical of stokvels around the country.A stokvel is a group saving scheme, helping members with financial assistance when needed. They are set up by a group of friends or a community organisation to help save or invest, to provide for burials, to buy groceries in bulk, or even for special events like birthdays.“I like this type of stokvel. It helps you. You can use other people’s money for your own projects. But you must remember – you have to return the favour,” said Pitsoe.With rotational stokvels, members contribute a minimum of R1 000 ($120) a week into the pot. Amounts can go up to whatever people can afford.South Africans are such huge fans of this savings scheme that, according to a survey by African Response, R44-billion (US$529-million) is currently invested in stokvel savings.Survey tells the story of savingsThe nationwide survey of over 2 000 stokvel members conducted by African Response, a market research company, found that there are 811 830 stokvels in the country, with 11.4-million members.A recent All Media and Product Survey (AMPS) has found that 40% of South Africans belong to a stokvel. The AMPS was conducted by the South African Advertising Research Foundation, which uses surveys to determine target markets for products and services.Mamapudi Nkgadima, MD of African Response, said: “African Response sought to quantify this market in terms of size and value as well as shed some light on attitudes and behaviours.”She illustrated the numbers involved: “The population of a city made up of all South Africa’s stokvel members would be larger than any of our major metros, including Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.”Gauteng leads the figures with 24%, followed by Limpopo with 20%, KwaZulu-Natal with 14% and the North West with 12%. These four provinces make up 70% of the stokvel market.“Stokvel members are home owners, business owners, church members and people you work with,” says Nkgadima.Findings of the surveyThe survey broke down the types of stokvels.The most popular are savings, burial, grocery, birthday and investment stokvels.Savings stokvels are the most popular of all – 47% of people using stokvels belong to one.This is followed by burial society stokvels with 41%; followed by grocery stokvels with 20%. Investment stokvels account for 5% of the members.Savings stokvels mostly comprise 80% of people from urban areas; while birthday stokvels comprise younger members, with 66% between the ages of 16 and 34.Groceries stokvels are made up of 86% women.Higher income earners are attracted to investment stokvels.Nkgadima said: “Stokvel membership very much depends on individual needs, which is why there are different types. Birthday stokvels fulfil social needs and saving stokvels are joined for security needs.”The average contribution each month is R210 ($25), with burial societies having a lower than average contribution of about R115 ($14) per month.Investment stokvels generate much higher contributions – from between R300 ($36) and R500 ($60).The survey also found that the average number for stokvel members was 27.Nkgadima said: “Burial societies tend to have much higher membership numbers while investment and birthday stokvels are closer, more intimate friendship groups.”Stokvels attract more women than men, with 57% of women taking part, compared to only 43% of men.This only differs in investment stokvels with the majority being men at 52% and women at 48%.“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.”Some 66% of stokvels make use of financial institutions, while 34% still do not. Nkgadima sees this as a great opportunity for financial services to manage stokvel finances.People have different needs but their common factor is the need to save for a rainy day, while creating wealth and security for themselves.Different stokvels for different peoplePeople from different backgrounds, with differing needs, make use of the different stokvels.John Lebetso, an informal trader from Diepkloof in Soweto, is a member of three savings stokvels. He meets with other traders every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday to pay in their contributions and talk money matters.His stokvels have different minimum contributions, with the smallest being R300 ($36) and the highest being R1 000 ($120).Although Lebetso’s stokvels are paid out annually, members do have the opportunity to draw their money every six months. Money can also be borrowed from the stokvel, at 20% interest.“It helps a lot if you can’t save money on your own. It’s also encouraging as you’re around people who have more money than you but are entrenching a culture of saving in you,” said Lebetso.Lebetso said there were more women in his stokvels than men, which seemed to indicate that women are better managers of money than men.Esau Maota, a pensioner from Diepkloof in Soweto, has been a member of a burial society for more than 20 years. “This type of stokvel brings communities closer because it involves neighbours helping the families around them.“It is also an affordable method to save for those enforceable problems.”His burial society has monthly contributions of R250 ($30), with R200 ($24) going to a bank account and R50 ($6) going to the host of the gathering.It pays out R7 000 ($841) for the burial of a member and R3 500 ($420) to their dependents.Nkgadima said: “Stokvels continue to pervade all levels of society and they are here to stay.”
As business and government leaders from across the globe gather in Abuja, Nigeria, for the World Economic Forum on Africa, KPMG International’s global head of corporate citizenship Michael Hastings reflects on reasons to be hopeful about the future of the continent. People in an internet café in Kampala, Uganda. “The communication revolution is a boon for Africa,” writes Michael Hastings. “The rise of social media will lead to more transparency and more sophisticated forms of democracy.” (Image: World Bank) • Michael Hastings Global head of corporate citizenship KPMG International +44 20 7311 8370 [email protected] kpmg.com/citizenship • How Africa tweets • Rwanda finds a path out of history of horror • Death penalty declines in Africa • Diaspora dollars spur African development • Africa’s green revolution ready to grow. Just add investmentMichael HastingsWhen I meet young Africans who have graduated from overseas universities, I’m struck by their excitement for Africa. They have a vision for their countries of origin, and a passion to return to, and invest in, their homelands. This new desire for engagement is a sign of incredible optimism and hope. There are many other signs of hope.1. A communication revolution, a data revolutionThe communication revolution is a boon for Africa. The rise of social media will lead to more transparency and more sophisticated forms of democracy, both in Africa and elsewhere. Citizens now have extremely powerful tools to hold leaders to account and ensure funding is correctly channelled. The communication revolution has spawned a data revolution, and mobile phones will help Africa catch up with other continents in the gathering of data. Africa sorely needs more, and better, data collection. I’m confident that new technologies will help level the playing fields and give poorer countries a chance to generate the data they need for better decision-making. In 2001, only 25-million Africans had a mobile phone subscription; today, Africa has over 650-million subscriptions.2. Africa: the Silicon Valley of bankingAccording to Carol Realini, California-based mobile-banking innovator and executive chairman of Obopay, “Africa is the Silicon Valley of banking. The future of banking is being defined here … It’s going to change the world.” Mobile phones spread information about agriculture and healthcare to far-flung areas. The Grameen Foundation is going further and using mobile technology to gather extensive data from farmers; the mobile phone is the ultimate data-capturing device. More and better data is sorely needed in Africa to ensure informed policy and investment decisions. For too long the rural poor have been used as tools in an ideological battle between left and right. The mobile phone has the potential to integrate them into the mainstream economy and into the body politic.3. Consistent sustainable development leads to prosperityAfrica has the opportunity to learn from the developmental mistakes of the more established countries. One such mistake was to take a narrow reading on the data. Per capita GDP is now considered a blunt instrument for determining if a country is on the right trajectory. The trend is towards a holistic approach (such as the Legatum Prosperity Index), whereby individual well-being is as important as raw wealth. According to Legatum, prosperous societies are those that afford their citizens good education, entrepreneurial opportunity, freedom and social integration – among other things. Countries become prosperous by consistently investing in sustainable development over a long period.This more nuanced approach to prosperity helps explain the concern that Africa’s growth is mainly attributable to the extractive industries. Yes, this constitutes economic growth and development, but how sustainable is it, and can it be considered quality development? How do we ensure that mining wealth leads to prosperity? These are questions KPMG is wrestling with. We advise government, the private sector and investors to take a long-term approach. Short-termism was one of the sins of colonialism: it takes time to build strong institutions, which can counter the tendency towards centralisation of power. America is rich and powerful because of the early establishment of property rights, a strong judicial system, a sound and fair system of taxation, and representative government reaching down to village level.4. The power of individual libertyIn many African countries there is growing trust in the power of individual liberty. Certain African governments seeking to tap into the entrepreneurial spirit of their young and energetic populations have downsized. Cleaner, leaner governments are driving growth on the continent and helping to boost the private sector. Nigeria is a prime example of this, as is Ghana. I mention examples at the risk of annoying those I leave out, but we must not forget that one of the most sustained and ordered development stories is Europe after the Second World War. When the countries of that continent stopped fighting and channelled their competitive energy into commerce, the results were spectacular. It’s very encouraging when Africa looks to Africa for examples of economic success and technological innovation. Rwanda has, in 20 years, gone from devastating genocide and war to a progressive, entrepreneurial, tech-savvy dynamo, posting record growth. Countries that get their policy house in order can attract investment from neighbours. Successful African countries pull others along in their wake.5. Bring back the dignity of the landCountries that develop institutions, with roots deep in the African soil, will build wealth for their citizens. Agriculture is an important source of income, and too many African countries have to import food. This is a drain on the national finances and undermines national confidence. Infrastructure development, incentives and secure property rights could reverse the trend and usher in a food boom on the continent. Farming demands a certain commitment to land and community: the same cannot always be said for mining. Further, agriculture employs 65% of Africa’s labour force. Farm yields in Africa are relatively low – productivity gains in agriculture directly benefit the hundreds of millions of Africans who work the soil. Promoting the development of agriculture is the quickest way to build prosperity. We must bring back the dignity of the land. African self-reliance depends on it.6. Better data for better educationWe must enhance the dignity of the teaching profession. School enrolment has improved dramatically in Africa, and this is to be celebrated. But the quality of instruction is of concern. Again, qualitative data will help. Children attending school is not enough, there needs to be the expectation of high standards. Improved data collection will help ascertain areas of weakness in the school system.7. Knowledge equals power and wealthIf it is true that knowledge equates to power and wealth, then Africa can look forward to an exciting future. No continent stands to gain as much from new technologies, which allow for the exchange of information, as Africa. Soon, every single African will have the world’s entire fund of knowledge in the palm of his or her hand. As a key knowledge resource to African governments, and outside investors, we will play our part by developing systems of knowledge gathering and analysis to help African countries join the world’s most prosperous nations.Michael Hastings, CBE, is global head of corporate citizenship, KPMG International. This article was originally published on the World Economic Forum blog.
25 April 2016Congolese music legend and king of the sapeurs Papa Wemba died earlier today. What a week pic.twitter.com/K6ydq828GL— Aminatou Sow (@aminatou) April 24, 2016Papa Wemba, the influential Congolese musician known for the hits Esclave, Kaokokokorobo and Le Voyageur, died during a concert on 24 April 2016, following a fall on stage. He was 66 years old.Wemba was known as a cross-cultural icon in the world music genre, collaborating with artists from Sri Lanka, France and the United States, including British musician Peter Gabriel. He ferociously incubated new African music, art and film talent in a number of art communes in Kinshasa and Paris, France, giving African culture a stepping stone into larger markets.“He was known as a true trendsetter,” Suzana Omiyo told Al Jazeera following the news of his death. Omiyo, a popular Kenyan musician, worked with Wemba.Born Jules Wembadio Kikumba in the small river community of Lubefu, in the now Democratic Republic of Congo, Wemba began his musical career with the Zaiko Langa Langa group in 1969, mixing African sounds with more contemporary Western rock and pop music. The group played the legendary Rumble in the Jungle: Zaire 74 concert along with James Brown and Miriam Makeba.Wemba moved on to several other band projects, culminating in his most prominent group as leader, Viva la Musica. He had his most international success with Viva la Musica, primarily in France and other French-speaking territories, including Belgium and Canada, during the early 1980s. Around this time, Wemba discovered the young singer songwriter Koffi Olomide, who went on to become one of the top-selling African artists in the world.Koffi Olomide presente ses condoleances a toute la famille Biologique de Papa Wemba https://t.co/CK2uNjxc1R— Koffi Olomide (@Kofficentral) April 24, 2016Settling in Paris in 1986, Wemba’s fame grew, following collaborations with Stevie Wonder, signing to Peter Gabriel’s Real World record label and performing at Womad festivals. The last two popularised African and other non-western music – known as world music – across the globe.He was known for his stylish fashion sense, and was a driving force behind the cultural movement known as the Sapeurs. Sapeurs (“the Society of Atmosphere- setters and Elegant People”) juxtapose elegant colonial fashion with African flare against the backdrop of political volatility in the Congo region.Wemba called it a way to inspire the youth during turbulent times, promoting what he called “high standards of personal cleanliness, hygiene and smart dress, to a whole generation across Zaire”.On stage, his performances were known for their energetic, fun atmosphere. They featured an extensive band, colourful light shows and a troupe of professional dancers, offering a frenetic multi-media showcase of African culture.While Wemba was best known as a dance floor filler with largely upbeat, funky compositions, he was always open to experimentation. He released more than 30 albums, filled with a number of critically acclaimed ballads, soulful instrumentals and indigenous African folk songs.His popularity outside Africa opened doors for later groups from the central African region, including fellow Congolese performers Staff Benda Bilili and Konono No 1. Following his death, Wemba and his work have been honoured by fellow African artists, fans and the world on Twitter.Singing in Minneapolis tonight remembering @prince and Papa Wemba! pic.twitter.com/X9kSVrTk38— Angelique Kidjo (@angeliquekidjo) April 25, 2016Papa wemba one africa biggest artist. Rest in peace. He stood For an africa united. One love pic.twitter.com/IN4nI4zRID— Wyclef Jean (@wyclef) April 24, 2016We mourn yet again! Papa Wemba, great Congolese musician dies on stage. Thank you for the rumba & kwassa kwassa. You left joy in our hearts!— Tim Modise (@TimModise) April 24, 2016To celebrate the life and art of one of Africa’s greatest talents, watch some of Papa Wemba’s greatest songs:Source: News24
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Continued dry weather aided fieldwork, but too little soil moisture is beginning to become a hindrance to crop emergence and conditions, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending June 19th. Far Western and Northeast Ohio were reported as abnormally dry on the US Drought Monitor released Thursday. Sporadic storms passed from Cincinnati to Akron on Wednesday and Thursday, dropping localized heavy amounts and causing minor flooding. Some hail was reported. Producers are largely finished with planting, though some double crop soybeans will be planted after wheat harvest. Crop emergence is steady but uneven in quality, as the lack of available moisture is hurting some fields. Producers are worried that if the dry weather continues, crop damage will result. With the planting finished, growers are focusing on applying nitrogen to corn, spraying herbicide, and cutting hay. Hay making is going very well with the dry weather, with alfalfa in particular in great condition.Read the full report here
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest 2019 Van Wert County Farm Bureau Annual MeetingAnnual Meeting was held Aug. 6, 2019, at the Van Wert Center of Aging, in conjunction the Van Wert Soil and Water Conservation District. Dinner was catered by Gibson’s BBQ of Van Wert.Celebrating 100 years of Ohio Farm BureauVoting of board members and delegates was held, and after dinner, Jessica Vandenbroek gave the organization director’s report. Scholarships were awarded and the 2019 year was recapped.Special guest Matt Reese, from Ohio’s Country Journal, spoke about the challenges Ohio farmers face with the 2019 crop season.We celebrated the 2019 year of Van Wert County Farm Bureau and welcome the year 2020.
Under pressure from the sports fraternity and the political class, the Delhi University on Friday decided to promote India Under-19 cricket team captain Unmukt Chand to the second year of his BA course.Unmukt, the star performer of the junior team that won the World Cup earlier this month, had been barred from writing his exam by St Stephen’s College because he didn’t have enough attendance. The college refused to consider Unmukt as a special case citing university rules and denied him entry into the second year of his course.The decision was heavily criticised by people and fans across the board, including India senior team captain MS Dhoni, Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken and Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal.Both Congress leaders spoke to the college principal and senior DU officials after which the university decided to relax its rules.DU vice-chacellor Dinesh Singh said: “Unmukt can continue his course. He will move to the second year.”Unmukt captained the Indian colts to a title triumph at the ICC Under-19 World Cup in Australia earlier this month. In fact, he hit a crucial century in the final against the hosts.