File image: Muzi Shange, owner of three pizza franchises in KwaZulu Natal

CAPE TOWN - Over the past four years, the Franchise Sector has shown growth, contributing towards the country's GDP from 9.7% in 2014 to 13.3% this year, a survey by FASA and Sanlam revealed.

It becomes clear that the country's political dilemmas, economic turbulence and tough trading conditions couldn't stand on the progress of this sector. "As a sector, we are doing great things in a tight economy," said Tony Da Fonseca, Chairman of Franchise Association of South Africa.

He added that “whilst we celebrate our tenacity in staying the course, with an increase in the number of franchised systems to 845, adding much needed small businesses (40 528 franchisees) and employing 343 319 people in our sector, we must be cognisant of subtle undercurrents of uncertainty that the survey has exposed which need to be addressed to make the industry even stronger”.

Here are some of the highlights of the franchise survey as per FASA website:

  • Estimated turnover of the franchise market is R587 billion Rand
  • The highest proportion of turnover generated is by the largest catergory- Fast Food and Restaurants (29%)
  • Employee count amounted to 343 319, Retail catergory being the biggest employer
  • Business ownership by women averaged at 25%
  • Most franchisors (78%) are optimistic about future growth in their businesses

"Despite a floundering economy, the franchising industry continues to make a healthy contribution to the South African GDP, a fact that is often overlooked by both the public and private sector,” FASA’s Executive Director, Vera Valasis concluded.