A new social movement being driven by saving

by Shelagh McLoughlin
3 December 2019
3 December 2019

A social movement is emerging, driven by the work of SaveAct and its partners. How is it happening and what does this mean?

This was one of the main points of discussion at SaveAct’s Annual Partners Meeting in October, where staff from the organisation and 11 of its partner organisation met for two days to compare notes, reflect on current circumstances and plan ahead.

SaveAct’s partners use its saving model to enable the progress of the people they work with, and a steady increase in the number of partners and groups they work with has played no small part in helping to drive SaveAct’s membership to close on 90 000.

At the two-day meeting, along with a sharing of highlights, challenges and achievements, organisations talked about how knowledge and training could be shared and consolidated among organisations. There were serious talks about the national partners’ meeting becoming a bi-annual event that alternates with a regional partners’ meeting, to facilitate better regional collaboration.

There was also discussion about updating and strengthening the current Memorandum of Understanding that SaveAct signs with partners, as well as drawing up a Code of Conduct for partners. And there was discussion about the emergence of a social movement associated with the work of SaveAct and partners.

“This is an exciting development, visible in the way that members of SGs connect with each other within and across groups and communities,” says SaveAct Executive Director Anton Krone.

“There was discussion about how this movement could be fostered. It was generally accepted that an authentic movement was something organic, and which emerged naturally, or not.

“SaveAct and partners can help this movement to have a voice. In the long run, the best contribution that SA and partners can make is to keep doing quality practice, as this will create the seeds for the growth of this savings movement.”

Krone made the point that there is already considered by many to be a global savings movement and community of practice (COP) – with its connecting points assisted by The SEEP Network — that brings many of the SG promoters together.

“SaveAct is a member of SEEP. The COP focuses on practices associated with SGs, learning of better ways of assisting marginalised groups, through savings group promotion, enterprise and related strategies. A significant activity of SEEP is the planned SG2020 conference to be held in Durban in March 2020,” he says.

SaveAct, along with FinMark Trust, is a local partner for SG2020. As the ties SaveAct has with the global movement strengthen, this will undoubtedly feed into the local partnerships.

  • Organisations that attended the APM were: Izulu Orphan Projects; CREATE; Women’s Leadership and Training Programme; We Will Speak Out SA; Siyakholwa Development Foundation; Family Literacy Project; Tholulwazi Uzivikele; Siyakhula Sonke Trust; Jabulani Rural Health Foundation; Ubunye Foundation and Justice and Women.
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