There is a huge gap between the township lifestyle that existed ten years ago and the kind of living standard in most South African townships today. There are more business opportunities and a vibrant market for different kinds of businesses. Some of these township business ideas in South Africa are outlined below.

Shisa nyama

Opening  a shisa nyama in the township is a business worth persuing. Although there are a lot of shisa nyama outlets already operating in the township you can successfully set up your own shop if you offer a unique experience and attractive meals at competitive prices. After all, people are always keen on trying out new restaurants and seeking new experiences. If you do your market research and offer your customers what is missing in the food industry especially in townships, you can open a vibrant  and profitable shisa nyama. With a shisa nyama you can earn more than R100 000 per month if you run your business efficiently.

Car Wash

Another business worth considering in the South African townships is a car wash business. There are a lot of people with vehicles that stay in townships, so the demand for car cleaning and maintenance is always high. Also setting up a car wash does not require a lot of capital. You can even clean cars at your backyard or visit people in their homes. A car wash is relatively easy and quick to set up plus you start earning income in a short space of time.


The third business that can be profitable in a township is becoming a wholesaler. Instead of competing with the numerous spaza shops in many townships you can sell goods to these shops. The market for wholesalers is not as saturated as that of spaza shops so this kind of business is more than likely going to give you better returns.

ECD Day Care Centre

The number of children in South Africa has been increasing over the years due to high birth rates and immigration. Most parents also work full time jobs and are in need of quality ECD day care centres for their children. Therefore, opening a day care centre in a township can be lucrative. In order to stand out from the competition you can consider offering childcare services for disadvantaged and disabled children apart from a good curriculum. There are few day care centres that cater for disadvantaged children. Also study your competition and maximise on their weaknesses.

Gaming Lounge

Both the young and old enjoy video games. Opening a gaming lounge in a township can be very profitable. You can provide your customers with the latest gaming consoles and video games for a reasonable fee. To create a full gaming experience, you can also add pool tables, host FIFA tournaments, and add various forms entertainment and make a killing out of your gaming lounge.

Auto Spare Parts Store Business

Also on our list of township businesses is opening a spare parts store. People continue to buy used and new cars that need servicing overtime. Cars break down all the time and spare parts are always in high demand. Therefore an auto spare parts store is a small business worth considering in the township.

Rental accommodation

Becoming a real rental accommodation agent in the township can be a smart way of earning passive income. If you have extra rooms in your homes or own more than one property this could be profitable business. The amount of money you can make will be limited by the number of rooms you can rent out however, this is a stable business for property owners. There is always a demand for accommodation and rental space so income is guaranteed.

Catering Business

Another small business idea ideal for a township is a catering business. As a caterer you can offer your services to wedding ceremonies, parties, funerals, and various other special events that occur on a regular basis throughout the year. Generally, the food sector has been growing steadily over the years so the there will always be a demand for food. However, there is stiff competition when it comes to this type of business but with proper market research you can select a niche market you can serve.

Tattoo shop

For some reason there are few, if any, tattoo shops in townships but there are a lot of people with tattoos and those that would like to have them. Many people travel long distances to get professional tattoos done. Thus, opening a tattoo shop in the township is something worth considering. If you are a talented tattoo artist you can take advantage of this gap in the township and offer your professional services to the township market.

Hardware Store Business

Opening a hardware store in a township can be profitable. You can provide a wide range of building materials, plumbing and electrical supplies within the community. A hardware store in the township has the potential of pooling a large customer base. There will always be someone in need of plumbing, electrical or gardening tools. Thus, a hardware store is worth considering.

Tutoring services

Offering tutoring services to primary school or high school students is another business you can consider opening in the township.  Tutoring services do not require a lot of capital, just your knowledge and skills. There are a lot of students in South Africa, both young and old, who require extra lessons and parents and  guardians willing to pay for such services.

Clothing Boutique Business

A clothing store in the township can bring in a lot of income. There is a large market in the townships given the number of people that reside there.  Fashion trends change all the time and people like staying fashionable so the potential of running a successful clothing store in the township is high. A boutique could be a great business opportunity.  Also, the demand for clothing is  generally steady throughout the year but peaks during the festive season.

Sewing and tailoring

If a clothing store is too much of an investment you can consider sewing and garment alteration services. Sewing and garment fixing services can generate a lot of income.  If you are skilled with sewing skills this could be the perfect business to open in the township.

Bakery Business

A lot of South Africans have bread and other types of baked products on a daily basis  as part of their meals. There is a large market for cakes, pastries, bread, and cookies among other products in the township. Thus, opening a bakery is a business idea that can bring in a lot money. There aren’t a lot of bakeries that offer quality products so to become a successful baker make sure that you offer tasty baked goods at competitive prices.

Mobile Spa

A mobile spa is one conventional business that you can operate in a township. If you are qualified beautician, cosmetologist or have had training working in a spa this could be the right business for you. There are a variety of services you can offer to customers at the comfort of their own homes including include massages, manicures, waxing, and facial treatments to name a few. The start up capital for a mobile spa is not much plus there is a ready market for such services.

Coffee Shop Business

There aren’t many coffee shops in South Africa townships but there is an increasing number of coffee lovers. Opening an urban coffee shop in a township can be a rewarding business venture. People all over the country are always seeking new places and experiences hence setting up a coffee shop in a township is something to consider.

Professional Photographer

Becoming a professional photographer is also another business to consider. If you are the kind of person who enjoys taking photos even as hobby, this might be something worth getting into. This type of business does not need a lot of capital. All you need is a good camera and the love for photography. You can earn money by offering your photography services at baby showers, weddings, and parties.

Butchery Business

Everyone loves meat, whether it is for a braai or for regular meals at home. Setting up a butchery business in the townships is another way of making a living. As income rises more people are able to access all kinds of meat. There is no denying that a butchery is essential in all areas including in townships.

Life Coach

If you are well respected influencer, socialite or businessperson becoming an influencer can be a another way of obtaining extra income. You can charge to speak at conferences or workshops and seminars. People that look up to you especially from the townships will more than likely be willing to hear about your experiences, successes, failures and lessons for a fee. You can also offer mentoring services to people interested in mastering specific skills that you may have, be it in business or in your personal life.

Fast Food Restaurant

Opening a fast-food restaurant in a township in South Africa, is also on our list of township businesses worth pursuing. The need for take outs and eating out keeps increasing as a result of urbanisation. Many people enjoy dining out and/or ordering in due to their busy lifestyles. Thus, opening a fast-food restaurant can be profitable.