Our story

A look into the
financial challenges
faced by farmworkers

When we started this journey in 2012 there were, and is still to this day, no savings solution for farmworkers saving less than R150 a month that allows them to earn inflation beating returns after fees. This is a significant problem as it exposes them to the following main challenges:

  1. They become susceptible to, and dependent on, unsecured lending which is readily available, extremely expensive and sometimes malicious.
  2. They're on a path to retirement with an impaired balance sheet, due to poor quality or non-existent assets and unaffordable levels of debt.
  3. They're dependent on government during retirement and unemployment (SA is currently the largest welfare state in the world).

Our research sample of 1000 farmworkers, over 10 farms in the Western Cape, found that 46% are paying too much of their salary towards debt.

Interest rates are not the problem. It’s the unethical “hooks” from credit providers ("You qualify for a loan of R30 000") and the real cost of credit that depresses them into a cycle of costly liabilities that they struggle to service.

18
No debt
36
Under control (1 – 25% of salary)
30
Struggling (26 – 60% of salary)
16
In trouble (61 – 400% of salary)
Credit example of the most popular retailer in farming communities

(Product and supplier names not displayed.)

40” LED TV e-commerce price as on 15 Feb 2017.
Cash price (excl. delivery)
Monthly instalment
Term
Interest
Credit life insurance
Total cost (incl. deposit)
R6 499.99
R460.00
36 mo
24 %
R59.00 per mo
R16 560.00

Finding a solution

Instead of addressing savings, debt or over-priced retail in isolation, one must look at the entire picture – the balance sheet. For someone to save, they need disposable income. To have disposable income, their debt must be on manageable and responsible levels. They need innovative and cost effective products that help them build up their assets, even if they can only afford to save R25 a month. And most importantly, they need a responsible and accountable partner to walk this path with them.

See our solution