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Community  |  11 October 2017

Communities work together through group savings

Nobengazi Ndwayana is a 94-year-old woman who has been part of the Savings Programme since 2014. In her community there were no savings/ stokvel programmes that people could engage in for social or economic purposes. A few members in the community were involved in burial grocery society, where members would buy groceries that would assist its members during a funeral of a family member. Mrs.. Ndwayana felt that this was useful at the specific time of an unexpected death in the family, but did not solve the financial issues at home. If any of the community members needed extra money at the end of the month, they would borrow from ‘loan sharks’ in the community or other villages.

In 2014 the Ubunye Savings Programme was introduced to the Vela Community and Mrs. Ndwayana was one of the 12 members who first joined the Vela Savings Group. “Mrs. Siyona came here with her colleague and was introducing this “Ukonga” and taught us how to save and borrow money from the group that we had recently formed through Ubunye”, says Mrs. Ndwayana. “Our group started by saving R20 per share and saving up to five shares a month. There was also a loan system that allowed each member to make a loan that had a small interest and would be paid within three months”. Mrs. Ndwayana says that this loan system helps a lot especially when you have an emergency at home and is manageable to pay with the time given and the low interest. At the end of 2014 Mrs. Ndwayana had saved enough money to renovate her rondavel (hut) and put on a new roof. By the end of 2015, with the group share amount of R50 she had built a small six corner rondavel from her savings and loans that she had made that same year.

Not only did she save for herself and her family, but Mrs. Ndwayana and 4 other members in her group formed a sewing group called the Vela Sewing Group. They have been working closely with the newly named Ubunye’s Livelihood Programme. The group sews kiddies’ bags and bath tea bags for Kwandwe Private Game Reserve and other sewing products for the community. Mrs. Ndwayana feels that the group members have gained confidence and skills from the programme to make their lives better. In the two years that Mrs. Ndwayana has been part of SCG and a member of an income generating group in the Livelihoods Programme, she feels that she has been able to access opportunities that she never thought she could at her age.


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