20 South African Side-Hustles You Can Start This Weekend

Start one or more of these low cost 20 South African side-hustles this weekend.

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By Nicole Crampton • Feb 27, 2019


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Are you looking to make extra money on the side? If you don’t want to invest a lot of your hard earned money into it, and you don’t want it to be too complex and time consuming to set-up, then you’ve come to the right place. There are numerous types of uniquely South African side-hustles that you can start this weekend. This list of part-time or side-jobs require relatively low investment and need very little infrastructure to get off the ground.

Here are 20 South African side-hustles you can start this weekend:

  1. Weekend food truck
  2. Become a virtual English teacher
  3. Brew your own craft beer
  4. Tutor younger South Africans
  5. Teach your passion to others
  6. Give adventure tourism a shot
  7. Odd jobs
  8. Make and sell crafts
  9. Figure out how to solve a challenge in SA or in your area
  10. Become a coach
  11. Make and sell food at food markets
  12. Take foreigners on a journey of SA with Voicemap
  13. Design and sell unique South African fashion
  14. Rent out your spare room/spare bed on Airbnb
  15. Design food-growing opportunities
  16. Teach the community
  17. Make and sell South African memorabilia
  18. Plan uniquely South African holiday packages
  19. Grow indigenous plants
  20. Make your own proudly South African creams and lotions

Side-Hustle 1: Weekend food truck

Are you a bit of a foodie? Do you enjoy making interesting and unique food for your friends and family? Perhaps you should invest in a food truck and earn some extra money on the side?

Miles Kubheka was so inspired by the fictional character he played, named Vuyo in the Hansa adverts from a few years ago, that he turned his fictional Vuyo’s Original Wors company into a real-life, well-known South African branded food cart operation.

“It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission. I never asked SABMiller if I could use ‘Vuyo’,” admits Kubheka. He now has his own restaurant and that’s only the beginning of the success that has resulted from this side-hustle.

Crumbs and Cream, a popular ice-cream sandwich restaurant started off with just a tuk-tuk at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. This was a low cost, mobile operation, which the founders could start while still working full-time. Their business did so well that they now have an additional location in Cape Town and a location in Johannesburg.


Side-Hustle 2: Become a virtual English teacher

You might be asking yourself, but how is this uniquely South African? Yes, people can do this from all over the world. However, many countries prefer South Africans because compared to Americans, Australians and those from the United Kingdom, SA’s accents are a lot easier to digest and understand to the ears of second- or third-language English learners.

As a native English speaker, consider how difficult it is for you to understand Scottish, American and Australian accents, never mind someone who’s trying to learn the language from scratch.

There are many teaching opportunities across the globe, and all you need to start earning is decent Internet connection speeds and a computer.


Side-Hustle 3: Brew your own craft beer

Craft beer or artisanal beer is growing in popularity amongst the millennial and Z generations. Brewing beer is very different to drinking it, so you’ll need to understand the fermenting processes and have at least some understanding of how to go about brewing and marketing your beer.

South Africa has 9 600 recorded plant species, 70% of which are not found anywhere else on the planet. The unique proudly South Africa ingredients and flavours you introduce to your brew could put you in a class of your own.

This venture could lead to you launching your own beer label, or at the very least means you’ll never have to buy beer for as long as you brew.


Side-Hustle 4: Tutor younger South Africans

There is always demand for strong tutors in South Africa to help younger generations improve their understanding of a variety of subjects. So, if you excelled in primary school and high school, this might be the option for you.

Tuta-me, for example, enables students and tutors to digitally connect with each other and arrange for a meeting in a time and place that suits both parties. The app streamlines processes by making it a paperless option for students looking for tutors.

“Dylan Hyslop and I started talking about this and we wanted to know how we could contribute positively to the state of education in the country. Access to good education is a challenge, as a lot of people can’t afford private schooling. We wanted to make an impact on and improve access to education,” explains co-founder Abed Tau.


Side-Hustle 5: Teach your passion to others

Whether you’re an avid cyclist, dancer, yoga practitioner, runner, painter, carpenter or jewellery maker, you can create a class and teach others your passion. You could teach others to make traditional African jewellery, paintings or pots to earn money from too.

There is always a need for others to express themselves. You can offer them something no one else can with a uniquely South African tailored-learning experience. Try creating the best city-sites for cycling routes, or hosting yoga classes in one of the many parks or botanical gardens across the country – like a popular ParkRun.

Skydive Wanaka

Side-Hustle 6: Give adventure tourism a shot

Are you an adrenaline junkie? Do you know where all the best bungee jumping, base jumping, parasailing, wakeboarding, surfing, mountain biking, horse riding, hiking spots are? Then this is definitely the side-hustle for you. Organise groups to go with you to South Africa’s adrenaline-inducing spots, like a Sani pass in 4x4s.

Numerous local and foreign tourists won’t know where the best hiking, cycling, riding or 4×4-ing trails in the area are, but you do.

All you have to do is organise groups to go and create an adventure-filled unforgettable experience for them. You can even tailor vacations for those adrenaline junkies looking for the most exciting activities South Africa has to offer.

Rawpixel Unsplash

Side-Hustle 7: Odd jobs

M4Jam is a proudly South African app that allows you to find jobs near you and that suit your skill set. Jobs range from simple tasks you can complete in your area, like taking a photo of a shop, or completing a survey from your couch. You will earn money for each job you complete.

“With the opportunity to earn extra cash and supplement their incomes, our jobbers are strongly invested in our platform, providing real insights, in real-time and solving real business issues for companies.

This begs the question of brands – can we afford not to be on-board?” says Andre Hugo, co-founder and Chief Jammer at M4JAM.


Side-Hustle 8: Make and sell crafts

Do you enjoy making uniquely South African hand-made items? Do you enjoy creating and being crafty? This might be the unexpected job for you.

Flea markets are big across South Africa where you can sell your wears to international and local tourists looking for something unique to your city or SA. Sites like Etsy and South Africa’s Hello Pretty can make it possible for you to sell your wares for substantially better margins.

There are some who have crafted opportunities out of challenges, for example Molemo Kgomo couldn’t find an African doll for her daughter, so she created one. She now owns a company Ntombenhle Dolls which has grown into an entrepreneurial success. She was solving her own need and now has a full-time business to boast about.

Reel Gardening

Side-Hustle 9: Figure out how to solve a challenge in SA or in your area

South Africa is far from a perfect country, there are problems to be solved all over. You could make money by designing something to assist your community. Repurpose Schoolbags is a business that was created by two high schoolers, Thato Kgatlhanye and Rea Ngwane. They transformed discarded plastic into schoolbags.

These schoolbags are functional and reduce litter in their area. It also includes a solar panel and a light, so the child could see to do their homework. This business became a sustainable social enterprise that benefits school children, employs members of the community and turns a profit.

If these two clever teenagers can come up with such an innovative solution, you definitely can.

Nelka Unsplash

Side-Hustle 10: Become a coach

Sports are a big part of life in South Africa, but people of many ages are unable to access sports equipment or a knowledgeable coach. If any type of sport is a passion of yours, you should make it you side-hustle to teach others how to play the game.

Sports For All is a franchise that expanded into South Africa, to support local sports because schools couldn’t afford the equipment and coaches.

“SFA is a social franchise that’s primarily aimed at uplifting the community. Because of this, franchisees need to be very engaged in their communities. You need to care about your community and be very involved in it,” says Marina de Lange, franchiser who brought this franchise to South Africa.

“It makes getting a sport programme off the ground so much easier because you’re provided with a turnkey solution. All the sports equipment needed, for example, is provided for you,” explains de Lange.

If this business could develop a whole franchise around its offering, then there is definitely a need. So, why can’t you be the one to fulfil it – even starting out with just one school in your area?

Liezel Malherbe

Side-Hustle 11: Make and sell food at food markets

Do you make the best traditionally-South African food in your neighbourhood? Maybe this is an opportunity for you to start a food stand side-hustle.

The founders of Balkan Burgers did just that. They saw an opportunity in the Johannesburg market for a different kind of meal. They mobilised the whole family to get involved. Now, they trade in three of Joburg’s most famous markets, they also have a food truck and they sell at big concerts, festivals and events. They even cater for birthdays and weddings.

All of this was accomplished because they went to the market, saw there was a gap in the market and filled it. When they started out they managed to pull it off in 6 days, and if they can do it, so can you.

Intrepid Travel

Side-Hustle 12: Take foreigners on a journey of SA with Voicemap

Do you live in an interesting part of town that has a lot of quirks and hidden treasures? You can use Voicemap to guide tourists and visitors through your area, or areas you like to frequent. This app offers stories and facts given by best-selling authors, expert correspondents, veteran broadcasters and even passionate locals.

“I’ve had almost all of my best experiences when a local showed me their city. It immediately cuts through all the abstraction of being an outsider, because you become a participant, with a point of reference that helps you to identify with a place. You get to share somebody else’s feelings for their home,” explains co-founder and CEO of Voicemap, Iain Manley.

Get paid for telling the story of your neighbourhood and guiding tourists and visitors to those secreted gems.

Abantu Creations

Side-Hustle 13: Design and sell unique South African fashion

There have been many designers who started out created clothing for themselves or sold pieces on the side to make a bit more money. If you love to sew and design your own clothing or make clothing for others, you can always make a dozen pieces and sell your wears at local flea markets, or even online.

Stores like YDE offer space for rising designers too, so you could potentially sell your clothing through them part-time. Hello Pretty is another online opportunity where you can sell your wares.

By purveying online, you can see how many items you need to make and reduce wasted time, effort and inventory.


Side-Hustle 14: Rent out your spare room/spare bed on Airbnb

If you have a granny cottage in your back-yard, a spare room in your house or even a spare bed in your house, you could rent it out using Airbnb. South Africa has some of the most sort-after natural wilderness and if you live near it this could be a solid side-hustle option for you.

Brigid Prinsloo now travels around the world while she rents out her apartments through Airbnb. “By the end of that first month, we had earned close to R10 000 by renting out the room. The rent for our entire two-bedroom flat was R10 500 per month. We realised that we could earn a tidy sum by renting out an entire flat.”

It all started with a spare room, now Prinsloo has multiple properties and rents them out regularly, while she and her family travel around the world.


Side-Hustle 15: Design food-growing opportunities

There is a food-shortage in South Africa. You can help by designing a product or systems to help others around the country grow fresh food for themselves. If you’re good at growing your own veggies or know which animal’s lifecycles will be best suited to a livestock farming system, you can create a solution to help solve South Africa’s food shortage and feed those who currently can’t feed themselves.

Examples of businesses already doing this are Reel Gardening that created seed strips to help reduce water usage and increase germination.

Aquaponics is another business that offers rural people an opportunity to breed and sustain their own fish supply. The entire system is closed and requires water and electricity but can be transplanted anywhere.


Side-Hustle 16: Teach the community

If you have computer skills, you can offer a group class to those looking to learn the basics. There are those that offer computer classes at old age homes to help the elderly email and Facebook and stay connected to their relatives, friends and families around the world.

Silulo Ulutho Technologies flipped South Africa’s shortage of education into an opportunity and started offering access to computers, as well as training sessions for those who didn’t know how to use a computer.

Now, the business has branches all over the country and it’s still growing.


Side-Hustle 17: Make and sell South African memorabilia

There’s nothing tourists like more than being able to take home a keyring, magnet, t-shirt, hoodie, cap or beer mugs with ‘South Africa’ on it. This is relatively easy to do, and you could even offer an online store so you can manage what you need to make in your spare time. You can keep this as low cost as you want, until you make enough cash to buy equipment and turn this into more of a full-time enterprise.

Paul Simon, founder of YDE and Über Flavour, sold custom mining helmets during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and made enough to allow him to start his next business.

“The Makaraba mining helmets are very South African, and real artworks, which of course means they weren’t geared for the kind of mass production that an event like the World Cup needs. We created a mass production version. We manufactured a plastic projection moulding kit and customised them according to a country’s team clothing. Fans bought the kit in pieces with stickers and could ‘create’ their own Makaraba helmet too,” explains Simon.


Side-Hustle 18: Plan uniquely South African holiday packages

Have you explored the ins-and-outs of this beautiful country? Do you love organising holidays, negotiating for cheaper prices and finding the best value-for-money when traveling? You can design custom South African holidays for those wanting to see the best of the country, but don’t even know where to start.

Camping Khapela offer luxury camping services for holidays, weekend getaways and festivals. But it all started with the founder, Karabo Sepharatla, using the deposit for the trip to buy the equipment, but once the equipment was paid for, each following trip made a higher percentage of profit.


Side-Hustle 19: Grow indigenous plants

If you have a super-green thumb and enjoy growing plants in bulk, you could start growing your own profitable side-hustle. That’s how De Fynne nursery started out. Founders Hacky Goliath and Elton Jefthas were growing and selling fynbos and indigenous plants on the side while finishing their degrees.

The demand for their plants grew, and it paid more than their day jobs, which made them decide to turn their side-hustle into a full-time gig, creating De Fynne nursery.

They are now on a 22-hectare property with well-over 600 000 plants and 22 permanent staff to brag about. The company also supplies Woolworths, Massmart and Spar, as well as landscapers, commercial farmers and wine estates.

SIX Sensational Skincare

Side Hustle 20: Make your own proudly South African creams and lotions

With so many skin sensitivities around, especially in babies and toddlers, a natural South African balm, cream or lotion is just what the mass market is looking for. If you enjoy making your own lotions and balms from scratch, because you prefer natural South African ingredients, then this might be a profitable side-hustle for you.

Christine Buchanan and her sister Louiza Rademan concocted their own nappy rash balm for Buchanan’s first child and it worked wonders. They started out selling their products at a trade show, and sold out 100 tubs on the first day, they went home made another 100 tubs for the second and third day and sold out on those two days as well.

Now, their products are sold internationally, and they were able to leave their senior positions to follow their dreams. Oh-Lief is now also stocked across the country in hundreds of different stores including Woolworths.

Nicole Crampton

Entrepreneur Staff

Sales Enablement - Content Developer

Nicole Crampton is an SEO specialist who contributes to Entrepreneur.com/za. She has studied a BA Journalism at Monash South Africa and has continued her studies with a Creative Writing degree from UNISA. Nicole has completed several courses in writing and online marketing, and continues to hone her skills and expertise in digital media, digital marketing and content creation.

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