The township economy is at the forefront of change in less socially inclusive environments throughout South Africa.
Late last month, SUCCESSFUL JOURNALS, in collaboration with Ahlume Digital, The Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn and the Cape Innovation Technology Initiative (Citi) facilitated workshops on how informal traders, from Khayelitsha and surrounding areas, can use digital and technology tools to improve their business services.
Over 35 informal traders were present on the first day, and over 40 were present on the second day of the two day workshop. Majority of the informal traders were elderly women and a few elderly gentlemen.
These entrepreneurs have over 10, 15 and 25 years of experience, individually, selling meat, vetkoeks, construction material, clothing, transporting school kids, fruits and vegetable vendors, as well as baking cakes and cupcakes for public events.
Their contribution to society has enabled a majority of their children and grandchildren to study at colleges, universities and open their own businesses or further improve the existing businesses.
And, of course, their time in business also comes with a lot of challenges, spanning from advertising, marketing, working based on weather conditions outside, and sheer luck of avoiding crime.
Hence, SUCCESSFUL JOURNALS and Ahlume Digital came to the conclusion that tools such as Canva, Yoco, Hubspot etc, play a pivotal role in securing their company’s dignity and legacy.
On a daily basis, when they take their paycheck home, they face the above mentioned challenges. However, by using Yoco, they avoid being victimized, as their paycheck is secured in their bank accounts immediately. And, through Canva, they can create compelling artwork and posters, on their smartphones, to market their businesses.
Some also feared registering their businesses over the years, as a way to avoid government taxation. All to find out, when their businesses are registered, they stand a better chance of receiving investments, funding and growth opportunities.
In 2018, the World Bank Study on South African townships, found that the combined economy is estimated at R100 billion.
According to Stats SA, South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is R1 131 billion in the second quarter of 2021. The economy expanded by 1,2% in growth, however, it is still 1,4% smaller than what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The township economy contributes close to 2% of growth in the economy of South Africa. Transport and communication, tourism, food and entertainment are leading contributors to growth in Khayelitsha.
These workshops, along many other tech tools for informal traders, evolve the influence and growth of the township economy. The better organised the township economy, the better it is to navigate growth, inclusivity and legacy driven businesses in South Africa.
For more information, contact CEO at SUCCESSFUL JOURNALS, Lonwabo Marele at email@example.com