SIFISO SKENJANA: Spaza shops are under threat as retail Goliaths muscle in
These township stores offer a valuable service and steps need to be taken to ensure their survival
The spaza shop has long been an identifying feature of the township retail economy. Lately they have been coming under increasing competitive pressure, first from retail chains opening large-format stores in the townships and then from foreign-owned spaza shops.
In Cape Town, a Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation report on formalising informal micro enterprises found that 56% of spaza shops were owned and run by South Africans and 46% run by foreign nationals, of whom 80% were Somali.