Khosi Liwani and her husband, Zongs Liwani (shop owners), at the launch of Ndwamba Market in Nyanga on Thursday, 14 December 2017

CAPE TOWN - The launch of the two modernised spazas in Gugulethu and Nyanga marks phase 2 of the Pick n Pay's spaza innovative modernisation programme which seeks to revitalise township economy.

In December 2017, Ndwamba market was launched in Nyanga East after it was revamped and received up to date retail equipment. This was possible because of Pick n Pay in partnership with the Old Mutual Foundation, Masisizane Fund, Brimstone, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism and the City of Cape Town. 

Khosi Liwani, a Nyanga businesswoman and the owner of Ndwamba market said that she always dreamed of expanding the business but didn't know how. Pick n Pay approached her which saw her dream come true.

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The opening of Ndwamba market follows the launch of Nozinga's market in October 2017 in Gugulethu - situated next to Mzoli's place. Pick n Pay said there's an addition of three stores that will open in the Western Cape during this phase.

Who approaches who?

Phase 1 of the programme initially launched in Gauteng, the Department of Economic Development assisted Pick n Pay to identify possible sites. 

The group executive: franchise at Pick n Pay, Chris Reed said,  "Due to the success of the programme, spaza shop owners are approaching Pick n Pay directly to apply to be part of the programme. All applications are reviewed by Pick n Pay for consideration".

Spaza innovative modernisation programme explained

Reed explained that Pick n Pay and its partners in the programme upgrade spaza stores to meet the needs of customers and communities, helping to grow a new generation of modern retail entrepreneurs (all store owners remain independent), and boost economic revitalisation in townships.

"The programme seeks to help entrepreneurs make their businesses successful and play a greater role in growing South Africa’s economy".

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"Successful township business can help the broader community by providing services, creating jobs and building vital skills in skills in technology, customer service, and more traditional retail areas such as learning to be butchers and bakers"

Reed added that each spaza shop owner is equipped with cutting-edge systems and retailing techniques to create a unique township shopping experience. 

Support system

According to Reed, Pick n Pay provides extensive mentorship, as well as training which comprises both in-store and classroom training. 

"This includes store systems and point of sale - including banking and cash management, finance management, customer service and entrepreneurial development. The shop’s staff also receive training which advances their skills".

Reed believes that the success of the programme lies in helping independent entrepreneurs stay independent, but even more successful with a range of trading and financial assistance.

Spazas are facing a major competition from the malls which have been brought closer to the townships. Modernising spaza stores could see the stores fight back against the malls. 

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