Cape Town women from Philippi, Crossroads, Khayelitsha and Strand have started a stokvel for building homes: From left to right: Dorah Mkenku, Nolthando Mrwebi, Magotso Malgas, Hazel Ndzawuse, Andiswa Fana, Asiphe George, Caroline Moto, Ntosh Plati and Lizzy Scwebu. Photo: Velani Ludidi.

Cape Town - A group of Cape Town women from Philippi, Crossroads, Khayelitsha and Strand have started a stokvel with a difference. 

They call themselves the Masakhe Ladies (Let’s build each other) and they pool their money to build houses.

Started in January, the stokvel currently has 12 members, each contributing R2 450 a month. 

They then buy materials, rotating through the members one at a time. Members decide among themselves whose turn it is for the monthly lump sum payment. The founding members met through a food stokvel.

“We can’t keep on having stokvel for food when we know that the most important thing is the roof over our heads,” says Ntombekhaya Plati.

“We get a quotation and go to the hardware store to buy material or save the money to buy a house or a plot,” she says.

“I am tired of staying in a shack that leaks when it rains. I want to sleep peacefully when it’s raining,” says Dorah Mkenku. 

“I have been doing stokvel for food for more than 15 years and I have nothing to show, but this will have good results because in no time my house will be done.”

She received her material on Saturday and plans to build a four-roomed house.

The members of the group have chosen a uniform of overalls and work boots to wear to their monthly meeting. Lizzy Sicwebu says, “We didn’t want to wear high heels.”

* This article was published by GroundUp