10 July 2024

Winners to receive a share of R1 million in prize money at awards ceremony in November.

In celebration of South Africa’s group savings tradition, Absa is proud to announce the launch of its inaugural Absa Stokvel Awards, a vibrant occasion designed to honour the prestige of money-saving circles, known locally as stokvels, that form part of the mainstay of South African communities. These are the first ever stokvel awards in South Africa, and this is the first time that the successes of these unconventional money-saving circles are recognised by one of the largest financial institutions in the country.

“Stokvels are more than just savings groups; they are a cherished tradition, a lifestyle of collective empowerment, and a testament to the spirit of Ubuntu. These group savings circles bring together friends, families, and neighbours, fostering financial inclusion, disciplined saving habits, mutual support, and community development to support social and economic development across the nation,” says Tawanda Rumhuma, Executive: Savings & Investments at Absa Everyday Banking.

According to an online and video-based study by market research specialists at Ipsos, 11-million members* of approximately 800 000 Stokvel groups across the country have been able to save over R50 billion over the years. Through the Absa Stokvel Awards, Absa aims to shine a spotlight on these grassroots financial heroes and the extraordinary impact they have on members and communities, and most importantly, the economy.

There is a wide range of stokvel members’ stories and personal experiences, and as a proud banker of stokvels, Absa aims to address the needs and aspirations of different stokvel market segments, from young people, professionals to entrepreneurs and even retirees. “By emphasising that each stokvel member's story matters, we are demonstrating our support for South Africa’s group savings story which is the lifeline of the economy at large while highlighting our commitment to understanding individual customer journeys and providing tailored financial solutions for group savings such as stokvels,” says Rumhuma.

A Story of Togetherness

Stokvel members pool their resources together, supporting one another’s dreams, and investing in a shared future. From birthdays to educational funds, stokvels are there, from saving goals to investing goals, stokvels are also there, making life’s milestones more achievable and celebrations more joyous, while also carrying members through life’s hardships such as unforeseen circumstances and community support – this is the true essence of stokvels and what they mean to South Africans.

Celebrating Excellence: Award Categories

The Absa Stokvel Awards will recognise outstanding achievements across various categories, each celebrating a unique facet of the stokvel lifestyle:

  1. Best Community Impact Award – recognising a stokvel that has made a significant positive impact on the community through social projects, donations, or support initiatives.
  2. Most Innovative Investment Stokvel – recognising a stokvel that has successfully ventured into investments and/or successfully ventured into innovation-related initiatives.
  3. Best Stokvel in Financial Literacy and Leadership – recognising a stokvel that provides financial education to their members and have good governance and transparency in its leadership.
  4. Best Travel Club Award – recognising a stokvel that has increased the accessibility of travel and tourism.
  5. Best Stokvel Enablers – recognising an organisation, business or individual who amplify or develop and impact the stokvel community positively.
  6. Best Digitally Empowered Stokvel – recognising a stokvel that effectively uses technology for its operations and to better engage and benefit its members.
  7. Most Unique Stokvel Award – recognising a stokvel that is demonstrating new ways and saving or investing for unique impactful goals.
  8. Lifetime Stokvel Achiever Award – recognising a stokvel that has lasted for many years, while showing improvement and sustainability.
  9. Stokvel of the Year – recognising a stokvel that has best demonstrated overall success in the year.

Join the Celebrations: Enter and Share Your Story

The beauty of the Absa Stokvel Awards lies in its inclusivity to inspire and make a difference. Absa invites everyone (Absa banked and non-Absa banked) to enter or nominate their or another stokvel for the awards. A distinguished panel of judges, including financial experts, community leaders, and Absa representatives, will select the winners based on (but not limited to) minimum criteria, community impact, innovation, and sustainability.

Through these awards, Absa aims to positively impact stokvel members’ lives and communities by prioritising the unique needs and aspirations of these stokvels, subsequently reinforcing the bank’s role as a responsible and caring corporate citizen.

This initiative demonstrates Absa’s value for empathy and dedication to supporting its clients through various life stages and financial situations. Entries and nominations are now open and close on 30 September 2024.

A Night to Remember: The Award Ceremony

The winners will be celebrated in a grand awards ceremony hosted in Johannesburg, on 30 November 2024. The event will be filled with inspiration and recognition, showcasing the spirit of collective saving, through shared success stories of stokvels. Beyond trophies, winners will receive their share of R1 million, to propel their success even further.

“We are looking forward to celebrating the remarkable achievements of our Absa Stokvel Awards winners, whose dedication and innovation in group savings exemplify the power of community and collective effort. By sharing their inspiring stories, we hope to encourage more South Africans to embrace this beautiful tradition,” adds Rumhuma.

Stokvels are not just about saving money; they are about building dreams, fostering unity, and creating a better future for all. Let these stories inspire us to come together, support one another, and achieve greatness as a community.

For more details on the Absa Stokvel Awards and participation, please visit The Absa Stokvel Awards page.

Terms and Conditions apply. Auth FSP.