Consumers hold the power to transform
The aim of business is to make money, but it has to do so in a viable, equitable and sustainable way, writes Lance Claasen
It is that time of the year when malls are overcrowded with spenders and money flows freely. Where people mix in good cheer and goodwill in long queues of frustration. Many shoppers will probably be so focused on their tasks that they will not notice the seismic shift that has accompanied the revamp of their favourite mall — a consumer-driven economy has emerged, and is overwhelmingly black. This consumer class has kept the economy afloat for a decade. Black people are the biggest drivers of the retail sector, especially the black middle class, which numbers 6-million people, according to the Unilever Institute for Marketing at the University of Cape Town, up from 2-million people in 2004. They are desperate to give their children the opportunity and freedom to own trinkets that they never enjoyed. But while black consumers have been keeping SA afloat, many of the companies they support by spending their money have remained stubbornly untransformed — in the composition of their boar...