The Christian Science Monitor

Why so many South Africans make saving a 'social pact'

From the moment she arrived in South Africa in January 2017, Charity Chuma’s paychecks seemed to slip through her fingers like water.

Each month, nearly as soon as she had the money in her hands, there was a hand outstretched to take it. Her uncle back home in Zimbabwe needed help with rent. Her grandma needed money for medicine. Her mother was struggling to buy groceries.

“When people ask,” she says, “it is hard not to give.”

So when a colleague at the college dorm where she worked as a housekeeper in Johannesburg suggested Ms. Chuma join a saving and lending club – – she jumped at the chance.

Banking for themselvesChristmas to Le Creuset

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