Spaza shops

Spaza shops , also called tuck shops, are small, informal retail outlets often operating from shipping containers, selling mainly soft drinks, cigarettes, paraffin, candles, maize meal, bread and alcohol.  There are estimated to be 100,000 spaza shops in South Africa with a collective turnover of over R7 billion per annum.  It is estimated that each spaza shop employs 2 to 3 people, who in turn support 4 family members, on average.  (SpazaNews)

As townships and informal settlements grew in South Africa without the accompanying development of formal shops and malls, so spaza shops stepped in to fill the convenience store gap.

A spaza shop in Zulu is ‘ispaza’.  Inspired by the entrepreneurship of spaza shops, we replaced the ‘i’ with an ‘e’ for e-commerce and called our social enterprise e-spaza.

We took to the streets of Cato Manor this week to document some of the spaza shops closest to us.

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15 Responses to Spaza shops

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Spaza shops | e-Spaza --

  2. Louise says:


    I have a fantastic product that I would like to market to Spaza shops. Do you know how I can go about doing this or where I can get details for owners of spaza shops.


  3. Isaac Mzondi Ndlala says:

    I need your help.i’ve got a smalla busness that we call spaza shop .i’m living in rural area.indeed ineed your help.

    • admin says:

      Dear Isaac

      We work with crafters to develop new products and sell them via the internet. I wonder if you are looking more for assistance with how to run your business? I know that Unilever has a Trader Value Club which includes a publication published by Trade Intelligence.
      Try contacting Mohammed Uzair Abubakar who is the Project Manager of the Trader Value Club Magazine

  4. papzen says:

    Hi need prices on the spaza shops containers
    eg, sizes and price per containers new and used ones


  5. leonard says:

    am looking for the container for the spaza shop for leasing, and want to now how much am going to pay monthly for rental.


  6. Hugh Koopman says:

    I am in the process of opening a spaza shop in a rural area. There are also other spaza shops in the same area. I want to know how I can go about starting a spaza shop. How can I make my products as well as my service to the community more competetive? Is there still a need for spaza shops in rural areas? Do I need a business plan and must it be registered? Where can I buy the best products at the most affordable products?

  7. Hazvinei Sakupwanya says:

    I loved this idea of the shop in the container. I’m looking at this concept to help expand our brand into previously unchartered territories. Are there any specifics I should consider when setting it up? How do I put in the power points and aircon?

  8. admin says:

    Wow! There seems to be a great need for business support for spaza shop owners.

    For assistance, have a look at these sites:

    You might also find Coca Cola’s new Ekocenters interesting

  9. Mogomotsi says:

    I need a container that cost more than R6,000 for a spaza shop

    Thank you

  10. Heather says:

    Please could you tell me if you have the new number for UATN. I am unable to get a response from their contact details.

    Thanks so much.

  11. Wellington says:

    Hie im looking for a container spaza.if u may assist wth size and prizes

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