Who owns the CoopCongo Cooperative?
The CoopCongo Cooperative is owned and run by its members; the benefits and interests of the cooperative belong to its members. CoopCongo adheres to the 7 Cooperative principles.
Who finances the CoopCongo Cooperative?
The CoopCongo Cooperative is fully financed by its members through membership fees and shares acquisition; Although a cooperative may receive donations and grants from outside its membership, the 7 Cooperative Principles make it also a point that the control and running of the cooperative fully remains with its members only and not influenced or decided by any donor or benefactor.
Are CoopCongo Cooperative’s operations legal in South Africa?
The CoopCongo Cooperative is a “Start-Up” Cooperative that receives all the required assistance from relevant authorities in South Africa for it to become a viable and sustainable entity for the members of the community; This includes agencies of the South African Reserve Bank (CBDA, Prudential Authority, etc…) as well as recognized platforms that assist cooperative in their journey to become successful, like NACFISA, DGRV, etc….
What are the Board Members earning from CoopCongo?
CoopCongo board members are volunteers drawn from the Congolese community as leaders that commit to serve the community. They do not earn any salary and work for free; they may be compensated for expenses incurred during the exercise of their function to benefit the cooperative. The General Assembly (the ultimate body of the cooperative) may decide on various compensations towards Board Members at appropriate time.
Who can get a Loan from CoopCongo?
Conditions for savings and credits will be determined by the Board of Directors in consultation with CoopCongo members in line with laws, regulations and rules determined by the South African Treasury and the rules and laws applicable to Cooperative Financial Institutions (CFIs) in the Republic of South Africa.
What do I need to apply for a Loan?
You need to be a member in good standing who has spent the required waiting period, makes the required regular contributions and becomes eligible to borrow funds in line with the existing Loan Policy. Please, check details about the type of loan of your interest and its recommended minimum conditions or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
How soon can a person apply for a loan?
You need to be a member in good standing who has spent the required waiting period, as decided by the Board time to time and linked to the type of the loan of your interest. Please, check details about the type of loan that you want and its recommended minimum conditions or contact email@example.com for more information.
How long does it take for a loan to be approved from the application date?
Please, check details about the type of loan that you want and its recommended processing time or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Is there any penalty imposed if you repay your loan earlier than required?
No penalty is imposed if your repay the loan earlier than required.
Will the interest rate change during the life of a loan ?
No. The interest rate is fixed for the duration of the loan.
Can organizations register as a member of CoopCongo Cooperative?
Yes, Organisations may register as a member of CoopCongo; their constitution and at least three official representatives will be among the requirements for registration.
Can members take out a loan as a group?
Yes, existing CoopCongo members may take out certain types of loans only as a group of CoopCongo members ; Please, check details about the type of loan that you want and its recommended minimum conditions or contact email@example.com for more information.
How do I qualify to become a member of the CoopCongo Cooperative?
You must meet the following minimum requirements:
- CoopCongo is currently operating at the first degree of the community bond’s level, i.e. with Congolese community members and their partners. You must be over 18 years old and be able to lawfully fulfill your financial obligations and contributions to the cooperative. Children under 18 years old are represented by their guardians.
- Submit your membership application including all the required information and photo as indicated.
- Pay a one-time non-refundable membership admission fee as determined by the board from time to time.
- Purchase a minimum of two hundred and forty (240) shares at the indicated price each upon joining the Cooperative; Owning shares makes you a member “shareholder” of CoopCongo.
- Contribute the minimum required amount as determined by the board time to time, to your Main Savings Account every time; the more you contribute, the higher the amount you can borrow through the Cooperative.
What if a member takes residence to another country outside of South Africa?
As long as the member still believes in the considered Bond within the community and respects the prescripts of the CoopCongo constitution and rules as well as the official regulations for cooperatives based in South Africa, the member can keep his/her membership.
Can I transfer my shares or deposits to another member?
Yes. A member of the cooperative may transfer all or part of his/her shares to another member by notifying CoopCongo in writing, giving full details of the transfer such as the cash amounts or the number of shares and the CoopCongo membership number of each of the recipients. There may be a fee associated with the transfer. Please, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What is a share?
A share is the amount represented by a member’s portion, or equity or ownership in the cooperative. In the CoopCongo cooperative, each member must hold a minimum of 240 shares to be a co-owner. However, no member shall hold more than a tenth of the total shares of the society. Currently our cooperative has 2 million (2,000,000) shares issued and a maximum limit of two hundred thousand (200,000) shares per person or organisation. The share price can vary time to time, so, please, contact email@example.com for more information.
Do shares earn dividends?
Yes. As you buy shares from CoopCongo, the cooperative invests in various developmental and growth projects that proportionally qualify members to earn dividends at the end of the financial year.
What is a dividend?
A portion of the surplus of the cooperative after all expenses and mandatory deductions are made in a financial year, which is divided amongst its members, based on CoopCongo’s profitability and a member’s shareholding percentage.
What is a patronage fee ?
A type of commission fee paid to a member for helping a cooperative to generate revenues in the normal course of its business after the cooperative has made a profit out of the transaction conducted by the member. In the CFI, it will typically be that a member borrows money from the cooperative, and that money is repaid at a certain interest rate which makes the cooperative have a profit out of the transaction; the patronage fee will be a commission paid as a portion of that profit.
What is share capital?
The total amount of funds that CoopCongo raises from selling shares to its members who are automatically shareholders.
How do I make contributions towards my share capital?
By buying shares regularly from CoopCongo until all issued shares are depleted. Your share capital is then invested by CoopCongo for developmental and growth purposes.
Do my shares qualify me for a loan?
Shares form a part of the funds invested by a member into the CoopCongo Cooperative as a co-owner. They are not withdrawable, but may serve as collateral for certain types of loans. Please, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What do I need to do to close my account and withdraw from the CoopCongo Cooperative?
Anyone may withdraw from the cooperative at any time, and the following steps will be followed:
- For a Complete Withdrawal
- A member must inform the cooperative by writing to the membership committee of his or her intention to withdraw.
- The member will be required to give CoopCongo at least 60 days’ notice.
- A full refund for the savings owned by the member will be available less any monies and loans owed to the cooperative and its affiliated partners.
- A conditional or early savings refund may be considered subject to board approval if the member agrees to pay an early withdrawal commission on net savings due, in addition to a processing fees. The Board will determine the conditions and required timeframe for approval based on individual circumstances.
- A processing fee may be charged.
*Please note that only the Main Savings net balances will be refunded by the CoopCongo Cooperative; The member’s Share Capital is transferable to a willing member of the CoopCongo Cooperative as a private transaction approved by the Board in writing, or may be transferred to the common shares pool of the CoopCongo cooperative at the latest share price determined at least 6 months before the last Financial Year prior to the withdrawal request.
- Partial Withdrawal
The Cooperative CoopCongo may consider partial withdrawal of Main Savings on rare circumstances such as emergencies under the following terms and conditions to be considered by the Board :
- The members must make a formal application to the Cooperative clearly stating the reason(s) and the amount required.
- The partial withdrawal amount cannot exceed 50% of member total Main Savings.
- The member must be willing to pay an instant withdrawal commission on the amount to be withdrawn in lieu of 60 days’ notice period.
No processing fee will be charged on partial withdrawal.
Can I continue with my membership after I have relocated from South Africa?
Yes. The member should notify the CoopCongo Cooperative in writing about their re-location. They must also continue to make contributions into their account. If you have a loan, your members guarantors must be notified as well, and they must be in agreement.
What are the benefits of being a CoopCongo member?
The CoopCongo Cooperative enables you to safely save money and accumulate savings for your various future needs, earn lucrative returns on your savings and investment, access cheaper and easier borrowing for your development goals.
These are the few of the privileges of being a CoopCongo Cooperative’s member. Find out more details about your benefits here.