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Many SA brands are losing out by not engaging with the eKasi, or township, market. Strategic insights expert GG Alcock says this market segment was once "a swear word, a place to be feared, an apartheid ghetto". Today, it is "an amazingly transformed place". "It’s a vibrant, eclectic mix of mansions, shacks, spaza shops, premium taverns, hawkers, taxis and hot wheels. To say I am a kasi boy or girl now has a sense of urban cool. [It is] said with swagger; you’re a survivor, a trend-setter, one of the mass majority of SA, with its majority urban and peri-urban populations." Alcock believes brands that still believe townships are slums are making a huge mistake. "In this kasi market there are vibrant businesses, energetic people, a tight, networked social community, abundant hope and a glimpse of what our future is really like.

"Like the movie The Matrix, the informal economy is invisible but it is all around us, like a mist drifting by our car windows, hanging around on street ...

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