By BO Staff writer
As the economic climate grows systematically harsher for blacks, the question of raising funds for basic needs and even for entrepreneurship is fraught with challenges that effectively excludes our people. In the first place, blacks generally lack the security that mainstream banks need so as to approve credit. In this context the innovative idea of the WhatsApp Stokvel as a way to generate funds for any personal or business venture looks like a revolutionary response to mainstream banking.
The mainstream banks it seems are not happy about the WhatsApp Stokvel. Capitec for instance is propagating the idea that the WhatsApp Stokvel is a scam that is using their clients to steal their money.
Andile Mngxitama, the President of the black consciousness organization, Black First Land First (BLF), condemned the response of the banks outrightly. He said:
“It was the banks that made me aware of the WhatsApps Stockvels by attacking them. The banks should never have attacked them. Now I’m in a WhatsApp Stockvel and I know that they will collapse it. But I take “calculated risks” and I avoid greed. I will never play with money I can’t afford. If I have R100k, I will invest R10k. If have R10k, I will invest R1k. Alternatively I will build credit which I will use to play with from within the scheme. So if I lose technically, I effectively lose nothing.”
The WhatsApp Stockvel not only generates income, it also provides credit with more relaxed conditions to that of mainstream banks. Mngxitama however cautioned as follows:
“Note that the scheme CAN crash and you CAN lose your money. My advice is don’t be greedy; play only with money you can afford to lose; don’t rob blacks; and let’s give banks hell!”
It is significant that research into the cell phone practices of young township entrepreneurs indicates that the youth prefer Stokvels operated via WhatsApp because they were effortlessly accessible; the required funds were available within hours of being requested; no strings were attached to the loan; and the lending was based on commitment to the stokvel and mutual trust between the parties.
Mngxitama suggested that the banks feel threatened and are hellbent on destroying this scheme. “They are working hard to kill the “WhatsApp Stockvel”. This is so because it entails money no longer going to mainstream banks but to the ordinary people”.
When asked how do the banks kill such schemes, Mngxitama responded:
“They call them ponzi schemes and start a big propaganda war in the media based mostly on lies. The propaganda war is intended to create fear and panic. No self help scheme can survive a panic situation. By the way, even established banks would collapse if there was a panic and everyone withdrew their deposits. Did you know that banks give us each others money and takes the profits from our money?”
1. Whatsapp Stokvel Scammers using Capitec. See link, https://www.hellopeter.com/capitec-bank/reviews/whatsapp-stokvel-scammers-using-capitec-2772003
2. WhatsApp-Operated Stokvels Promoting Youth Entrepreneurship in Durban, South Africa: Experiences of Young Entrepreneurs. See link, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317202327_WhatsApp-Operated_Stokvels_Promoting_Youth_Entrepreneurship_in_Durban_South_Africa_Experiences_of_Young_Entrepreneurs