OPINION: There’s not a single business that operates informally or in a township that has some form of online presence. This scenario has to change if everyone is to continue to trade, writes Wesley Diphoko.
When lockdown limited commercial activities, there were winners and losers. Some businesses were able to trade online locally and to global markets.
Most of those businesses that thrived online were established entities. As for informal and mainly township-based businesses, it was the worst time to run a business.
There’s not a single business that operates informally or in a township that has some form of online presence. South Africa’s shoppers stick with bricks over clicks
This scenario has to change if everyone is to continue to trade despite the hurdles that will come due to another Covid-19-like situation.
For a very long time we’ve known that some businesses ought to have some form of virtual existence.
What Covid-19 has shown us is that online presence is critical, especially when physical stores are no longer accessible.
The recent situation should inspire the creation of market places that will serve the informal and the township economy. Going forward, the township economy has to look beyond the township market. Some goods that are manufactured in townships can be exported beyond South Africa shores.Google tried to create a solution that enabled SMMEs to create their own websites but later closed it down.This was a positive effort but it needed more focus and attention to really make a difference. Now that there’s no formal platform to serve township economy online, it’s about time that this matter receives the attention it deserves.In townships there are fashion designers, bakers, painters, upholstery designers, shoemakers and other entrepreneurs whose work can be traded online.What is lacking is a credible and commercial fair platform that can serve this under-served part […]
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