​Strategising for informal economies

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South Africa’s informal business sector serves a burgeoning consumer market estimated to be worth more than R100 billion, and growing faster than the formal market in retail, fast food and other segments.

Despite perceptions that informal businesses are survivalist and subsidence based only, many are profitable. In South Africa, for example, top informal food takeaway outlets selling everything from fried chicken and kota, to vetkoek and shisa nyama, turn over up to R50 000 a day, seven days a week; while the spaza sector is disrupting formal retail and is estimated to be worth R250 billion. Many South African brands are missing a significant opportunity by not engaging with the eKasi, or township, market.

Through this programme, you will:

  • Gain a deep understanding of the rules and structures that dictate how the informal sector functions.
  • Learn what successful companies are doing to win customers and build brand loyalty in this sector by exploring best practice case studies.
  • Discover buying patterns and preferences of mass-market shoppers by immersing yourself in this shopper’s world.
  • Gain first-hand insight into the lifestyles, aspirations, dreams and challenges of informal market consumers in their own environment.
  • Experience how they think, how they feel, and how and why they make decisions about products and services.
  • Explore the multitude of informal businesses in this sector to better understand how they operate, the scale of their businesses, how to engage them and what defines their business success.
  • Apply your learnings by developing an informal market strategy assignment for your business in consultation and with feedback, in a wrap up session.


image001.jpgGG Alcock

GG, founder of specialist marketing company Minanawe and author of ‘KasiNomics’.  He was raised in a mud hut in one of the most poverty stricken and violent parts of Kwazulu Natal, Msinga. GG’s activist parents raised their two sons in a hut with no running water, electricity or modern conveniences, instead growing up like young Zulu’ boys herding and hunting. Zulu reared and bred, the boys learnt the essence of how to survive in a harsh world – valuable skills that have undoubtedly contributed to GG’s success as an entrepreneur.

GG’s latest book KasiNomic Revolution explores the revolution taking place in the great marketplaces of the informal sector. The informal business sector is the next great frontier of Africa and it is undergoing an economic revolution – a new world of small people doing big things, transforming the continent. The KasiNomic Revolution may still be a murmur in the streets, a grassroots economic groundswell, but it is the future of African economic activity.

GG is a regular speaker on a range of topics – from business to motivational to trend talks on subjects including entrepreneurship, the informal market, diversity and culture, marketing communications to the mass market and the route to market strategies for the informal sector.

Andy Coetzee, Soweto Style Experience.jpgAndy Coetzee  

Andy is a cultural explorer and experiential facilitator. Through Soweto Style Experience he provides the opportunity for you to meet the friendly residents of Soweto and to open your hearts and minds to the people and places of South Africa. Andy grew up in the diverse regions of rural South Africa and has an in-depth understanding of the traditions and customs of his fellow Africans. Over the years, Andy has participated in a wide variety of indigenous cultural rituals and lifestyles, spending time with the Khoisan, experiencing Zulu rites of passage; and participating in Xhosa ceremonies to name a few. His role as a documentary film presenter has enabled him to explore some of the most intimate of cultural ceremonies. His migration to the city, with his knowledge of African languages and understanding of the people; widened his circle of friends to include urban residents and he is greeted with affection in both the rural areas and the big cities. He and his friends from many backgrounds and cultures will lead you to the warm heart of Africa.

As the bridge between rural traditionalism and the westernised commercial world, Andy provides unique and exclusive access to diverse markets, people and communities, affording, unparalleled insights for you, his fellow explorers. This bridge extends to true reconciliation and transformation, following Andy’s own personal journey from his rural upbringing, to officer in 1 Parachute Battalion, into township life and business. Andy stands comfortably with his feet in dual worlds, offering you the unique opportunity to connect to the exuberant world of Soweto.

Course Details:

  • 13 – 14 & 22 November 2019
  • 13 November:     12.00 – 16.00 at JBS to learn about the fundamental principles of informal market economies
  • 14 November:     Full-day informal market immersion
  • 22 November:     09.00 – 12.00 at JBS to present strategy assignments and debrief

  • Venue: Johannesburg Business School (Cnr Barry Hertzog and Empire Road, Milpark)
    Transport for the market immersion is provided and will leave from JBS on day 2
  • Faculty: GG Alcock & Andy Coetzee
  • Fee: R5 500 (this includes a a copy of Kasinomic Revolution by GG Alcock.)


  • +27 11 559 1783
  • Liezl.rees@jbs.ac.za

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