PhuthaLichaba, A Financial Cooperative under the National University of Lesotho (NUL) Innovation Hub is set to start taking savings from its members. This happens as the young cooperative has netted a membership of 65 in just over a month. It is one of the fastest growing cooperatives which is set to change the status quo in Lesotho's financial landscape!
Anyone can become a member of the most ambitious financial institution Lesotho will ever see. Here is how:
PhuthaLichaba is a Savings and Lending Cooperative, registered under the Department of Cooperatives in the Ministry of Small Businesses (its temporary but official name is Roma Savings and Credit Society). It is one of the many businesses being incubated under the NUL Innovation Hub.
It is meant to grow into an investment body that will enable Basotho to have a shareholding in the NUL Innovation Hub's rapidly developing innovative businesses. This will happen as PhuthaLichaba buys shares and assists these businesses to grow. Any resident of Lesotho who lives anywhere in Lesotho, and who has a bank account can join the mighty Cooperative.
Pele e ne e hloke mohatla ke ho romeletse, u se ke ua fetoa.
B. HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER
The following guidelines will assist us in getting to be a member of the new cooperative [Whatsapp Mr Tebello Tjapela here +266 56322869 for more information]:
We shall strife to be a paper-free cooperative society, so we are going to try to make everything electronic. More importantly, all transactions will be electronic and done through a bank, including borrowing and lending [permanent records of transactions remain with the bank, therefore such transactions are traceable].
Our communications will be mostly electronic to avoid unnecessary trips and unnecessary meetings. This will be very helpful since our members come from all over Lesotho. However, quarterly and annual meetings where members will meet face-to-face as stipulated in our constitution will be observed [Whatsapp Mr Tebello Tjapela here +266 56322869 for a copy or our constitution].
2. THE NAME
Also, please note that the Cooperative is still referred to as Roma Savings and Credit Society until this name has been officially and legally changed. This is a temporary name, prospective members approved a new name, which is, PhuthaLichaba Savings & Credit Cooperative Society Ltd.
But when you make your deposits, you will still make them to Roma Savings and Credit Cooperative. You will be updated once the name has officially changed.
To be a member of this Cooperative:
(a) You should pay an AMOUNT OF M150 to the Standard Lesotho-Bank approved account of Roma Savings and Credit Cooperative. The Standard-Lesotho Bank Account Number is 9080006897440 (Please note: The account says Roma Savings and Credit cooperative. It is a temporary name).
- M50 is a non-refundable registration fee.
- M100 is your share-capital.
Reference should be your name, written in full. e.g. Tebello William Tjapela.
Then send the following documents:
(i) A BANK DEPOSIT SLIP
(ii) A signed MEMBERSHIP AGREEMENT FORM
(iii) A certified copy of your ID or PASSPORT
(iv) A PROOF OF RESIDENCE FORM
(b) [WhatsApp Mr Tebello Tjapela here +266 56322869 to get a MEMBERSHIP AGREEMENT FORM and A PROOF OF RESIDENCE FORM.
(c) Scan and email these documents to email@example.com. You can use your cellphone to scan the documents.
(d) When we receive scanned copies of the MEMBERSHIP AGREEMENT FORM, a DEPOSIT SLIP, a certified copy of your ID/PASSPORT and a PROOF OF RESIDENCE, then you become a member and you will receive your membership number.
(e) If you fail to send MEMBERSHIP AGREEMENT FORM, your M150 will be deposited back to you.
4. MONTHLY CONTRIBUTION
(a) There will be mandatory monthly contribution of M50 a month.
(b) Monthly contributions will only be made through direct deductions from your bank account. That means (i) you, (ii) the coop and (iii) the bank, will sign an agreement that will enable the bank to automatically transfer money from your account to the account of the cooperative every month.
(d) Cash deposits WILL NOT be acceptable; that is why every member MUST have a bank account.
(e) It will be up to each member to ensure that her/his account has funds at the date of automatic payment every month.
(f) A policy (which will be developed by members) will have to show what happens to a member who fails to make a monthly contribution for a given time. The most likely scenario is that she/he loses membership and her/his total contribution and deposits are given back to her/him.
(g) The monthly deposits of M50 (minimum) are meant to keep the Coop functionally operative, so you can’t withdraw them anytime you want except when you leave the Coop.
5. OTHER DEPOSITS
The Cooperative may decide to take other deposits such as normal and fixed deposits in the future.
6. BORROWING AND LENDING
The cooperative will at some point, start lending to members with some interest at repayment.
7. THINGS TO REMEMBER
Please remember that the aim of this cooperative is to become an investment body that will boost start-up companies and other businesses in the long-run. It will be a bank truly owned by the people. In the meantime, let’s keep in mind that:
- It is being incubated under NUL Innovation Hub
- NUL, through Tloutle Holdings, may choose to be part of it as stipulated by the NUL's IP Policy.
For these reasons, its reputation is tied to that of the university. We appeal to all prospective members to ensure that we maintain the best reputation possible for PhuthaLichaba.
We aspire to become the most innovative financial body Lesotho will ever see.