Brand South Africa plays its part in building the township economy


According to IOL, almost half of South Africa’s urban population lives in townships, representing hundreds of billions of rands in spending power in the vibrant and growing kasi economy. Despite this, little data is available to help marketers and brands effectively target this audience. Research demonstrates the emergence of a holistic, self-sustaining ecosystem in the kasi economy, with many residents opting for home-grown brands that are trusted by the local community. Spaza shops, eateries and delivery services are capitalising on this trust, taking advantage of opportunities in communities historically underserved by large brands.


This makes it a hugely untapped market for young entrepreneurs living and doing business in the townships. It is for this reason that Brand South Africa in partnership with the Township Entrepreneurs Alliance (TEA), hosted a pitching clinic in the form of a Kasi Business Workshop in Khayelitsha Township, Cape Town as a platform for township entrepreneurs to access information, gain skills, exhibit, and network.


The Township Entrepreneurs Alliance, better known as TEA, established in 2015, started out of a need to advocate for entrepreneurship and possible career choices through high school engagements, and empower existing and aspiring entrepreneurs with skills required to operate and grow business sustainably through monthly free workshops, hosted in various townships across the country.


To date they have directly impacted over 6500+ entrepreneurs and 20 000+ township high school students. Their dream is to develop hubs of economic development that will aid youth in townships and rural areas in South Africa.


As part of the day’s activities, six top finalists were selected, and winner Kwakho Madikwa from ML Scents received a cash prize of R50 000 for his perfumery, cosmetics and chemical manufacturing company based in Khayelitsha, which was established in 2017.


The collaboration is strategically aligned to Brand South Africa’s mandate of promoting youth development and entrepreneurship, through its flagship programme, Play Your Part to encourage young people to proactively take their future into their own hands and build a thriving economy for their communities and future generations.


The workshops are designed to encourage up and coming entrepreneurs to implement growth and sales strategies for their customer base in the township, to enable a thriving Kasi economy for township dwellers and communities.


Other sponsors and partners included Nedbank, Naspers, Seriti and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).


Bulelani Balabala, founder of TEA said: “Through our nation-wide drive, we are clear about helping professionals, corporate South Africa and government to see and recognise the existence of township entrepreneurs”.