Times Live Article

A Johannesburg entrepreneur has devised an application for mobile devices to help stokvels keep their books in order.

The StokFella app is yet another app invented to respond to uniquely South African problems.

Recently a Cape Town start-up created Domestly, an app that links domestic workers to employers.

StokFella, the brainchild of Tshepo Moloi, 31, brings a modern twist to the group-saving stokvels by allowing members to digitally track their finances.

“After spending eight months in a number of stokvels and researching them, I realised that most were experiencing problems with their bookkeeping. I thought there must be a better way,” said Moloi.

“With the app, you create a group that has a chairman, secretary and treasurer, just like you would in a real-life stokvel.

Any transaction done on the app gets approved by the chairman or the treasurer as listed by the app,” he said.

The app, available through both Google Play and Apple’s App stores, has been a hit in Gauteng, where most of the stokvels money is.

In Cape Town, the Domestly app, created by Playlogix Developers, makes it easier to find a domestic worker living close to the prospective employer at the most favourable rate.

The app has a database of more than 500 domestic workers and allows the person looking for one to search for the most compatible.

“After selecting the cleaner you like, you make a booking for the cleaner and we make sure they show up at your house,” said Roger Norton, head of the Playlogix development.

“Payment is handled electronically through the app.”

The app is scheduled to expand to Johannesburg next month.

The rise of locally created apps was a result of the continuously growing market for them, said Norton.

“We are seeing a lot more smartphones getting into the hands of people because more low-cost smartphones are coming onto the market.

Apps are rising on the back of this development,” he said.