As it becomes more and more apparent that the law makers are not planning on doing the research needed for fair and reasonable policy reform when it comes to Cannabis, the more South Africans are realising that it is time to take matters into our own hands. Dagga Private Clubs are popping up quicker than what we can keep up with. Although a few applications are questionable in terms of the integrity of the model, we are learning of some interesting ways in which the concept is being applied. One of these ways that we’ve recently drawn similarities on, is the stokvel concept, very unique to South Africa.
Stokvels are popular in black communities and date back to the days of apartheid, when people of colour did not have access to banks or formalised savings systems. These people started pooling their resources together in groups of twelve or more close-knit community members – often family or close friends. These pooled resources are then used for whatever purpose the community decides – popular applications of the stokvel concept includes grocery stokvels, where food and groceries are bought collectively in bulk at cheaper rates; savings stokvel, where members can save up for example throughout the year and have their share pay out during the December holidays when work might be scarce; and even lobola stokvels, to help save up for a planned marriage.
So, what does this have to do with Dagga Private Clubs?
Well, it’s simple. Stokvels can be copied as a whole and used as a Dagga Private Club. Here are some of the similarities between the two:
- Both operate privately and the group consists of people who are known to each other and trusted;
- Resources are pooled and used toward the benefit and good of the individual members;
- Close management of resources is required and the managers of the stokvel is accountable to his members about decisions made and actions taken with the money;
- It is a legitimate way of creating employment;
- The members of a stokvel also meet up and socialise together, like members of a Dagga Private Club would;
- Pooled resources mean that more can be accomplished to benefit the group as a whole as well as the individual in the group;
- Both concepts were forced to take on its form due to gaps in legislation that end up negatively affecting some individuals;
- Both concepts work on the basis of providing mutual support to one another;
- Both concepts require trust and honestly between all individuals;
- A Dagga Private Club is governed based on a Constitution created by its founding members – a stokvel does exactly the same.