Alice Nhlapo worked as a domestic throughout her life. Things were not easy for this resident of Sharpeville, Gauteng, and the salary that she received from her employer was not enough to sustain her family.
She decided to work for two employers to increase her income and pay her debts, but this was still not enough. “I had to look after my two grandchildren, my two children and also try to have transport money so that I could go to work,” says Nhlapo.
“My grandchildren were not able to carry lunch boxes to school and my younger son did not have a school uniform that was in a good condition. It troubled me a lot to see my children in such a state, says Alice with teary eyes.
Then came the pandemic. Nhlapo was not able to go to work because her employers feared the spread of the virus, and so, with no income, her life became even harder.
In June 2020, she attended a SaveAct mobilization done by the field officer in her area, and immediately understood what was being said. “I joined a group on July 9th, 2020, at a share value of R100 and I purchased five shares. I was able to borrow R1000 at a later stage,” says Nhlapo.
She used the loan that she took from the saving group to start a business selling cooked chicken feet, which now generates R200-R300 daily. She has been able to keep purchasing shares and repaying her loan.
Nhlapo says she used to hide from loan sharks because she was not able to repay them, and she lost most of her furniture through repossession. With a big smile she says, “Now I am able to walk freely around my community and I stopped hiding because I do not owe anyone.
“Being a member of a savings group has really changed my life for the better. My goal is to expand my business when we share out our savings. With SaveAct, opportunities are endless and the most important thing is learning about managing your finances.
“Thank you SaveAct for this wonderful opportunity and for coming to our community. We are slowly developing to be empowered women.”