Township economies promote and foster job creation and entrepreneurship, especially in rural, peri-urban and urban residential townships – in other words, where most South Africans live. Informal spaza shops form an integral and vital part of these economies. They are critical contributors of local food security, self-employment and community cohesion. 

However, spaza shops often fail to reach their full potential due to a lack of business skills, access to funding, exploitation, and limited regulatory support. 

Through Spaza Media™, Provantage Media (PMG) seeks to transform the township and rural retail market by helping small enterprises like spaza shops flourish into bigger and more sustainable businesses, and by increasing the participation of black-owned SMMEs within the spaza branding supply chain.

Spazas are really at the heart of the community: people see them every day, and shop there every day. Spaza Media aims to transform media opportunities within these communities, while also bringing them value.

Typically, spaza branding is cluttered, with multiple brands competing for space and little opportunity for brand dominance. Media owners have little or no relationship with store owners, who receive at best inconsistent remuneration. There is typically only limited maintenance of the branding (if any), and it can easily be removed or vandalized. 

PMG’s vision is to transform this, drawing on their media expertise and local spaza network. Instead of a storefront cluttered with multiple brands, Spaza Media™ enters into agreements with owners to create a powerful media space, featuring a single brand, and offering price and promotion opportunities.

In developing this offering, Spaza Media™ recruits SMMEs to oversee the creation of branding and manage the media rentals paid to the spaza owner. These businesses are also tasked with carrying out bi-monthly or monthly visits to ensure that branding remains fresh throughout a campaign.

The spaza owner therefore benefits from sustained income and an improved shopfront, which Phakoa argues should drive incremental sales. At the same time, enterprise development is fostered within the spaza value chain.

And, in keeping with their commitment to sustainable enterprise development, Proactive will help to develop spaza owners’ business skills by providing access to training, as well as branded workshops and conferences, through the PMG Academy.

Perhaps most important, however, is that this offering means that media spend ultimately works to empower sustainable business development and contributes towards Economic Development points in the company’s score card. This is a way to meet the challenge originally stated: to play a role in creating more sustainable businesses and further economic transformation, while providing an effective media solution for reaching township consumers.