The Grahamstown Collective is a group of 14 savings groups situated in the Makana Municipal area that is affiliated to the national savings programme, Save Act. The Grahamstown Collective is locally co-ordinated by Maso Nduna, the programme coordinator from the Assumption Development Centre (ADC) in Joza, and involves savings groups from the ADC, Rhodes University, the Oasis Development Organisation, St Mary’s Day Care Centre and the Raphael Centre. At the end of July, the 14 groups had collectively saved just over R268,000 – a remarkable achievement, as this savings intervention started in October last year.
Statistics released by the Grahamstown Collective indicate that the average amount saved per person in the Grahamstown Collective is R1395 (ranging between R428 and R2800 per person), with an average savings per group of R19,151 per group. There are 192 people actively involved in active savings through the Grahamstown Collective. Statistics also indicate that the majority of savings group members are between the ages of 40 and 55 and over 70% of all group members are women.
Andiswa Stofu, one of the younger members of an ADC savings groups reflects: “It’s a wonderful feeling for a young woman as myself. It gives a sense of being part of a movement which guides you in money affairs and also emphasises budgeting and savings. It acts as a support group in time of need – as it heals and gives advice - and creates friendship amongst members.”
Each of the savings groups meets on a monthly basis to contribute their savings to the group’s money box. Each group has a constitution and very clear rules regarding individuals’ savings commitment, the taking of loans (at interest rates of no more than 10%) and group discipline.
Through monthly engagement with each of the groups, the Grahamstown Collective aims to have:
90% of the groups to be self-sustaining after initial training and 18 months of coaching/
50% of group members will accumulate at least one asset from their own with funds saved/
40% of group members will improve a current, or start up a new, informal micro-businesses.
For more information, contact look at the Save Act website: www.saveact.org.za