‘Societies’ help members beat festive season blues

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’Mantoetse Maama

The festive season is upon us once again and Basotho are out in their numbers making purchases for themselves and their loved ones.

Yet not everyone is fortunate enough to have the cash to splash around, hence the establishment of ‘societies’ through which friends, neighbours or colleagues save money and then divide it among themselves at the end of the year in order to afford the goodies that would make the much-needed difference in their respective lives.

One such group is Ha ‘Nelese Society, which was established by five local women in 2012. The members wanted to celebrate Christmas without budget-restrictions, and each contributes M900 at the beginning of the year. The money is then loaned to needy members of the community, who are then charged a certain interest.

A member of the Society, ‘Malimpho Mahloane, said the collaboration helps them save for such expenses as school-fees—and of course, their Christmas luxury.

“We decided to establish this society in 2012, and I don’t have any regrets about it at all. In fact, I would want to join more such societies. We contribute M900 each at the beginning of the year and loan the money to anyone in need and then charge them a certain interest. This year, we managed to raise M30 000, which we used to buy an assortment of groceries. We have just shared the goods among ourselves and I believe I will only buy more in September 2015,” said Ms Mahloane, as she proudly gestured at the foodstuff outside Jackpot Supermarket in Maseru.

Mamello Hlalele of Lithabaneng Society also said her group saves money for furniture and fees for their children.

“Our society started in 2009 and each member contributes M1000 a month. Since I joined the society, I have made so much progress in my life. We are 10 in the group, and normally share over M30 000 each December,” Ms Hlalele said.

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