Township Economies Driving
Development, Trade and Inclusive Growth

Almost half of Southern Africa’s urban population resides in townships and informal settlements, with this segment of the population representing a market worth hundreds of billions of Rands.

Due to the economic conditions of this segment, a majority of their spending on food and household products is done using cash from local independent stores, street traders and spaza shops. The township economy represents a significant opportunity for both manufacturers and importers of food and FMCG goods.

dmg events food, beverage and trade offerings, Africa’s Big 7 and SAITEX along with key stakeholders have developed an initiative to drive development, trade and inclusive growth in Southern Africa’s townships and informal economy by providing buyers and sellers with opportunities to access the township economy through our content, features, speakers and exhibiting opportunities.

How You will Acess
the Townshop Economy

  • Buyers will occupy exhibition space to engage with local and international companies looking to access this market.
  • Primary and secondary buyers will be in attendance.
  • Confirmed TECVEST members fitting the correct buyer profile attendance at the show.

In partnership with TECVEST, Banking Association South Africa (BASA) and SMME Chamber of Commerce, we offer free workshops and key discussions to upskill SMME’s which include:

  • Stakeholder engagement – Role of municipalities and how to unlock the township economy
  • SMME access to finance – How to mobilise funding
  • Women in Trade – Transformation and opportunities
  • Practical steps on how to re-establish your business masterclasses
  • Country insights from SMMEs exploring new markets

Sell-side sectors which will be featured in the show include:

  • Through Africa’s Big 7, our food & beverage offering: retail-ready food, beverages, sweets and confectionary, canned goods, dry goods, grains and cereals
  • Through SAITEX, our trade offering: fabrics and textiles, haircare and cosmetics, tools and hardware.

By exhibiting sellers will get direct access to buyers providing them with an opportunity to generate new leads, create new opportunities in the township economy markets, engage with Southern African stakeholders and promote their brand to a curated set of buyers.

Retail Dominates the
Informal Township

Informal businesses operate within a multitude of industries and offer goods and services that meet various social and economic needs within township communities. Retail dominates the informal township economy, with spaza shops, fast food outlets, bakeries, shebeens and hawkers. Additional businesses include backroom rentals, minibus taxi operators, mechanics and panel beaters, metal fabricators, childcare services, barbers and hair salons among others.

Over 50%

of South Africa’s urban population lives in townships and informal settlements


Estimated informal enterprises contribution to the GDP

$9.8 Billion

Estimated value of informal retail – a sizable chunk of South Africa’s total market


South Africa’s total employment is through the informal economy or so called “township economy.”


Household access to electricity connection, mobile phone ownership, and television


The informal market makes up approximately 30% of the total FMCG market

Supply Chains
What They Look Like

Supply Chains
What They Look Like