• Earlier this year, Flight Centre launched a new product aimed at stokvel members. 
  • It found that, apart from local destinations, members were saving up for holidays in Mauritius and Thailand.


Earlier this year, the travel agency Flight Centre started a stokvel for travel.

More than 80 stokvels have signed up, and so far the most popular destinations (apart from domestic trips) are Thailand and Mauritius. A maximum of 30 people can form part of a stokvel - but they don't have to travel together.

To sign-up, members complete a application form, which can be found on Flight Centre's website. The form must include a signature of each member. The group must then pay a deposit fee of R500 and your stokvel is up and running.

"Provided that the R500 amount is retained in the account at all times, stokvel members can withdraw the funds to use at any time and not just to travel," says marketing manager Lance Nkwe.

"Stokvels open up the idea of travel to new markets that may not necessarily have been able to afford a holiday," he says.  "This is why we decided to eliminate any red tape surrounding the process with no credit check or difficult approval processes to access the funds."

Based on each stokvel's contribution, members will get information about an exclusive selection of holidays cherry-picked for them.

Of the stokvel members who are saving for a holiday, 73% are female, Flight Centre says. 

The word stokvel derives from "stock fair." In the 19th century British settlers would buy cattle at stock fairs where participants rotated the management of the auctions. In the same way, groups of South Africans pool savings and take turns receiving a fixed amount on a regular basis. 

Now read: South Africans will save so much money through stokvels this year that they could buy Pick n Pay in cash and still have R10 billion left over

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