The past year has seen many pyramid schemes come to life and the year 2020 people have taken this financial scheme online via WhatsApp. In the first quarter of the year the pyramid scheme came under the auspice of a WhatsApp stokvel. Many people and people of colour participated in this scheme as they were under the impression that this pyramid scheme is the same as the Stokvel that we have in the Kasi’s. The way in which the ‘stokvel’ operated is that members join a WhatsApp group, and as they recruit new members, they move up the list till eventually they are the ones who earn the money from the recruits. The popularity of the WhatsApp Stokvel died down when people eventually realised that this is no Stokvel and was indeed a pyramid scheme.
In the Second half of the year we saw the Pyramid scheme returning once again on a national scale as people are now calling it WhatsApp gifting. With this people are continuing to recruit family members and friends to join the financial scheme. Within in the second week of inception people realised once again that this is yet another pyramid scheme.
With this, you are tempted to ask the question: How do people always fall for these Pyramid schemes? The answer is simple yet insightful, people love making easy and with this they believe that they should enrich others in the process. These two trends are nothing new to South Africans as they are striving towards financial independence and their notion of ubuntu requires them to share the riches with those around them. Arguably, the biggest insight that can be derived from this is that Pyramid Schemes are here to stay, and they are highly adaptable to the latest technologies.