The purpose of this study is to explain why Ons Eerste
Volksbank originated and why it is still the only
people's bank in South Africa today.
growth of the bank was also examined.
In this study it is made clear that Ons Eerste
Volksbank came into existence when the three founders
of the bank decided to help the poor people of Pretoria
by helping them to help themselves. Ons Eerste
Volksbank was born out of this effort. It was based on
the principle of selfhelp.
The most important aim of Ons Eerste Volksbank was to
grant small loans to members of the bank. No other
bank would have judged these people creditable for any
loans. Firmness of principle and trustworthiness were
factors taken into account, when considering a loan.
Personal involvement was a distinctive feature of their
business attitude, contrary to other banks. From the
begining it was clear that no bank could have taken the
place of Ons Eerste Volksbank.
Legislation which affected people's banks was also
examined, especially the Usury Act of 1926, which
resulted in the closing down of all the other people's
banks. This was a deplorable situation. The principles of saving money and regularly repaying
outstanding loans, were taught to every member of the
bank. In conclusion it was clear that Ons Eerste
Volksbank was financially successful, especially if the
statistics of outstanding loans are taken into
consideration. It was evident that Ons Eerste
Volksbank was the best solution against usury.