The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown caused massive restrictions in the trading environment, creating an unfavourable impact on many households, and also affecting shoppers and traders. The Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan in South Africa presented in 2020 forms part of the government’s agenda to restore the economy to inclusive growth through job creation; reindustrialise the economy, focusing on growing small businesses; accelerate economic reforms to unlock investment and growth; fight crime and corruption, and improve the capability of the State. Public and private sectors have had to adjust their business-as-usual practices to help rebuild the country’s economy.
Statistics SA reports that South Africa’s unemployment rate was 33.9% in the second quarter of 2022 (down from 34.5% in the first quarter). They highlight that job gains are mainly in community and social services at around 276 thousand.
Nokwanda Shabalala, Gauteng Regional Commercial General Manager at Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) said: “It is imperative that CCBSA plays a role in alleviating the economic woes within the communities we operate in, even better when the intervention is mutually beneficial to the business and the community.
CCBSA’s L&T channel has more than 160,000 outlets across various sub-trades such as spaza shops, general dealers, independent wholesalers, strategic distributors, hawkers, and hawker distributors located at various commuter hotspots such as taxi ranks, bus, and train stations. “Commuter hotspots present a unique opportunity to support local community members and align with the Gauteng Department of economic development’s vision to revive the taxi economy through the Township Development Act. Empowering these informal traders also provides consumers convenience while they walk or are waiting for transport to commute to work or visit family and friends – it’s about fulfilling the need for convenient consumption on the go”, Shabalala added.
In October, CCBSA officially handed over 150 pieces of trading equipment (trolleys) to the designated informal traders across their four sales districts in parts of Gauteng, including Soweto, Tembisa, Germiston, Katlehong, Vosloorus and JHB Central.
Shabalala also added that hawkers work closely with hawker distributors at identified commuter hotspots to encourage long-term partnerships and growth. “We also run quarterly and annual incentives through assigning specific targets to each hawker and hawker distributor, respectively”, she concluded.
CCBSA’s commuter hotspot incentive inspires partnerships between informal traders (hawkers) and hawker distributors and CCBSA by establishing effective and value-generating sales and distribution processes amongst the partners through the value chain.