Zande Africa Hyperextension
Taking South Africa’s vast informal trade seriously this week is Zande Africa. “Zande who?” you ask, puzzled. Zande Africa is not a rising star of Gqom, as you might expect, but instead a fintech company providing credit and logistics solutions for spaza shops around SA, something it has been doing these four years and more, providing spazas with a one-stop service for both the delivery of goods and the means to procure them. Now it’s opening its first bricks and mortar outlet, an Orange Farm hyper, where local spaza owners – and other bulk buyers, like early development centres, churches and stokvels – will come to buy their stock, and enjoy such facilities as a bakery, butchery, a pharmacy and in-store ATMs. Zande currently has 1,600 affiliate spazas and plans to sign up another 400 by the end of the year. It will also be converting its two Mpumalanga distribution centres, in Ermelo and Mbombela, into hypers, while keeping up its distribution operations.
Comment: The enterprise of the informal trade and the innovation of businesses like Zande, which serve it, continue to inspire us.