Hot off the Press

News that informs and inspires in the retail industry.

R1 billion to be allocated to new SME fund

Deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has said that R1 billion will be allocated to the newly announced fund for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as the government makes a push to empower small businesses, especially those in the townships.

“As was announced [in the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement] by the Minister of Finance, a new fund for small business and innovation will be established, which will be allocated R1 billion in 2019/20.

The National Informal Business Upliftment Strategy is also available to help township enterprises upgrade their business activities.

“The National Informal Business Upliftment Strategy is also available to help township enterprises upgrade their business activities,” he said.

Interventions to support township entrepreneurs

The deputy president said, meanwhile, that many township entrepreneurs were and are still excluded and restricted from opportunities in the major commercial centres of the country, having been relegated to being small business players in the townships and in the rural areas.

He said township entrepreneurs have not yet really found opportunities that can truly empower them.

To this end, government is determined to reverse this, the deputy president said.

“We are already implementing key elements of a strategy to boost township enterprises, to increase the involvement of South Africans in the economy as well as to expand opportunities for our people through SEFA.

“Many small businesses located in our townships have already received loans and industrial funding to enable them to enter new markets and also to expand their businesses and to expand their operations,” he said.

The deputy president also said that through the Competition Commission’s market inquiry into the grocery retail sector, government is looking specifically at the competition spaza shops face from larger malls, and the factors that may limit growth of the township grocery retail market.

“The actions against cartels and monopolies are further means and ways of opening space for township enterprises. It was through the complaints that were raised by township shop owners that the investigation into the bread cartel was launched.” –

Township Entrepreneurship Awards (TEA) 2018

The TEA programme is one of the Gauteng Provincial Governments initiatives aimed at rewarding township-based entrepreneurs who continue to make a difference in their communities by building and cementing confidence in township businesses. Equally important is the impact that the awards have in changing negative perceptions about township-based businesses, and in encouraging and inspiring township entrepreneurs to realise the conceivable economic gains for communities within which they operate.

The 2018 awards will comprise of 16 categories in the following sectors: food and beverages; creative industries; tourism; retail and finance; services; manufacturing; agri-business; transport, automotive and components; construction, building and real estate; social and community; new/startup enterprises. Awards are presented across all sectors in the following categories: Entrepreneur with a Disability, Youth Entrepreneur of the Year, Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award (at the MEC’s discretion).

All finalists will receive R100 000, to be disbursed as follows:

·           R50 000 will be used to fund business needs, following an assessment; and

·           R50 000 unconditional cash injection.

Category winners will get an additional R200 000, of which:

·           R100 000 will be used to fund business needs; and

·           the balance of R100 000 will be an unconditional cash injection.

For more information, entrepreneurs can visit their nearest GEP offices, visit or dial 087 500 2000.

Mastercard partners with Spazapp to bring mobile payments to informal traders

Mastercard is collaborating with Durban-based tech company, Spazapp, to bring secure, seamless and convenient mobile payments to thousands of informal traders and convenience stores, better known as spaza shops, in South Africa. By combining their expertise and reach, the companies intend to unlock economic growth by helping informal micro-businesses connect to formal markets and digital payment systems.

The informal retail sector boasts an impressive R46 billion in annual sales a year, with more than nine million households regularly shopping at these stores. While these shops represent the economic backbone of many local communities, their true potential remains untapped as they do not have the tools necessary to accept electronic payments and run their businesses effectively.

Through this partnership, Mastercard has integrated its digital global payment service, Masterpass, into Spazapp – a free, money-saving Android application that connects a community of informal traders directly to big FMCG brands, including Unilever and Tiger Brands. Using Spazapp, traders can order a wide variety of products at competitive prices – something they would be unable to access without the collective bargaining power that the Spazapp platform offers – and use Masterpass to digitally pay for stock and accept cashless payments from their customers with their mobile phones.

For spaza owners, Masterpass provides a more affordable alternative to traditional point-of-sale devices, allowing them to offer a convenient digital payment option to their customers.

Spaza customers can download Masterpass from the iOS or Android app store, register and load their credit, debit or cheque cards from any bank into the digital wallet. To pay for their goods, they simply open the Masterpass app on their mobile device and scan the unique QR code that is generated on the Spazapp retailer’s smartphone. After shoppers enter their bank PIN number or 3DSecure code and CVV/CVC number on their own device, the transaction is complete.

Similarly, spaza shop owners use their Masterpass app to scan a QR code printed on the supplier’s invoice, to pay for their stock on delivery at their store. Payment card information – including card details from Mastercard and other payment networks – is only captured once, eliminating the hassle of repeatedly entering these details every time they want to pay their bill. For more information visit,