Mpendulo Savings in 8 or so Minutes

Hello to all my fellow revolutionairies!

I submit here for your viewing pleasure a short video clip a local video production company (Ultimate Cut) made for us to post on YouTube.

It is a shortened form of a much longer production of 25+ minutes.

What is unique about Mpendulo Savings is that we operate in mostly urban areas. We have found that our uptake is slower and SG are smaller… first. Once people in a given community figure out that we are not a scam, this changes. Most our second year groups grow by at least 20% and new group formation doubles, if not triples. The bigger the urban area, the longer we need a presence before we get a big bump in our new groups formation.

We also find that our members are very independently minded and will go their own way in terms of applying the methodology once they’ve graduated - despite all the advice we might give them to the contrary. Sometimes, however, the group reverts back to the original methodology after they’ve experimented with ‘their’ way.

Enjoy the show and let me know what you think of the video.

PS: Below is a picture of Hank, the Director of Ultimate Cut….this is how we roll in the Eastern Cape of South Africa!! And, Paul, Hank is the guy holding the snake!

Hank, Director of Ultimate Cut with a Puff Adder he found in his garden and relocated to a remote location.


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Reader Comments (6)

This is brilliant Jill! Would there be any way for me to get a copy of both the short and long videos?


Fri, March 2, 2012 | David Panetta

Hi David
I think both are probably too big to email, but there is a way you can download YouTube videos onto your laptop. Google 'download YouTube' videos and you should be directed to several websites that have free software to do so.

As for the longer one, probably the only way is to post you a copy via snail mail. Send me your postal address and I'll pop one in the mail to you.

Fri, March 2, 2012 | Jill Thompson

Hi Jill, I like it very much. It lays things out nice and simply. Well done! Talk soon, Anton

Tue, March 13, 2012 | Anton Krone, SaveAct

Thanks Jill for the post. I am interested to know the variations that groups usually bring to group operations outside the methodology. I would also like to know (and related to our short study) whether you have experienced groups replicating especially in subsequent cycles or are all the new groups promoted by project staff- you noted that there is an increase in membership in re-forming groups.

Mon, March 19, 2012 | Kuria Wanjau

Jill - I too would like a short and long copy. This is great.


Sun, March 25, 2012 | Kim Wilson

Dear Kuria
In answer to your questions re variations......

A few groups have chosen to share interest equally, regardless of how much or little one has saved. One group took this a step further and gave each member back the interest they paid on their individual loans. They kept track of this in a separate book and then added it up at the end of the year. They however had problems with this approach last year and were thinking of going back to sharing it according to savings levels, or to share it equally. The last I heard, they hadn't decided what to do yet.

In terms of calculating interest on loans during the year, one group decided to only charge interest once on loans bigger than R 500 ($63). Other groups decided not to charge interest on any loans made in November (the month before most share out).

Some amount of debate is currently occurring in groups regarding the size of loans and the 3x's the amount of savings rule. one very risk averse group decided no member could have a loan larger than HALF the total amount of savings. Others are now limiting members to twice the amount of savings. In the beginning of the year when the loan fund hasn't accumulated yet, a few groups are limiting loans to no more than your savings or only twice until the loan fund grows.

In regards to the social fund, most groups chose not to have this, but several opted to have separate savings for such things as birthday clubs, funerals and Christmas groceries, to name a few.

In terms of spontaneous replication by groups themselves, we've not yet seen this occur. However, in the majority of graduated groups, additional members join. Most of our groups start small and then grow in subsequent years. We did have one group that added so many members that they decided to split into two. The group members though wanted to be trained by our training officers.

One thing we've been hearing though is that there has been a renewed interest amongst community members to start traditional RoSCAS. We have not been able to verify this with any objective data, mainly because we don't have the resources to do so!

Mon, March 26, 2012 | Jill Thompson

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