Ask Afrika

The stokvel market holds huge potential for retailers

Johannesburg, 14 September 2018

The stokvel market holds huge potential for retailers

by Dr Amelia Richards, Manager: Proprietary Benchmarks at Ask Afrika

The name “stokvel” originated from the term “stock fair”, as the rotating cattle auctions of English settlers in the Eastern Cape during the early 19th century. It has long outgrown its traditional roots and become an economy in itself. Target Group Index (TGI) research can help FMCG retailers tap into this market and understand how to accurately reach stokvel members.

The most recent TGI data collected from respondents aged 15 and older who live in communities of 8 000 or more, shows that 6 448 000 South Africans belong to a stokvel, with 62% of them viewing this as a primary means of saving. The types of stokvels available cater to unique needs, primarily to build and grow general savings, for groceries or for saving for Christmas.

Type Of Stokvel Image 1

There is a strong saving culture underlying the stokvel movement, whereby members use the medium to save for retirement. They are excellent with budgets, and careful with their money. They feel that supermarkets and retailers should not become involved in personal finance, and only 2% invest in stokvel accounts at a bank.

Stokvel Sentiment Image 2

With its origin in the 1900s, one would assume it is a tradition relevant to, and used by, the older generations. Not so, however, TGI data shows that significantly more people between 25 and 34 belong to a stokvel than the rest of the general population.

Stokvel By Age Image 3

Gogos and other females are more likely to belong to a stokvel than men, with 50% being single or never married. Two thirds of stokvel members are parents.

Stokvel By Gender Image 4

Stokvels are not just an informal way of saving money, reserved for rural communities only. In fact, TGI, shows that 53% of stokvel members reside in Gauteng, which is largely urbanised.

Sa Sample Image 5

In summary, stokvels are here to stay, embedded in a long-standing culture of saving among women. It is an economy that is growing especially among younger female consumers in the urban areas. TGI research provides the tools to understand this market segment and to profile these individuals. It provides potential new entrants into this market with both a geographic and demographic point of view, and also a bird’s eye view on psychographics which determine behaviour and consumer choice.

For more information or to order a customised TGI report, contact Mashudu Ndopu ( or Maria Petousis (­), or call 012 428 7400.