Sam Muofhe

Ashoka Fellow
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Fellow Since 1992


This profile was prepared when Sam Muofhe was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1992.
The New Idea
There are approximately 100,000 mutual aid societies operating in the country with an estimated 2 billion Rand in savings. Sam Muofhe has just created the National Association of Co-operative Societies of South Africa (NACSA) to establish a national framework that will enable these mutual aid societies (such as burial societies, women's clubs and rotating credit unions) to use their vast and presently under-utilized sources of private capital for the development of the black community.
NACSA will aggregate and invest the savings of member societies more advantageously than commercial banks and will channel a portion of the savings capital into small, community-based enterprises. NACSA offers a funeral scheme to its member associations with benefits currently surpassing other local societies. Similar to an insurance policy, these include coverage for the member's entire family, including parents and parents-in-law, an after-care payment and life-long membership. NACSA will use a portion of the premium to establish an education trust to provide scholarships for members' children and to provide training to member societies in literacy, administration, and finance.
The response to NACSA has been tremendous because NACSA allows burial societies to pass on the risk factor and maintain their traditional functions in caring for the bereaved. NACSA's approach to empowerment builds on the existing strengths of co-operative societies by providing technical and financial expertise, training, and the framework and vision for generating economic opportunity for its participants.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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