Brian Joss – Just prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, South Africa’s economy slid into its third recession since 1994.
Job cuts, which were already expected prior to lockdown, are now almost certain in the weeks and months ahead as we all make great sacrifices to flatten the curve. This will unfortunately only deepen the unemployment rate, which is already at a staggering 29 per cent, according to Statistics South Africa’s final 2019 survey.
According to a recent study by Henley Business School Africa, titled ‘What is the Future of Work in South Africa? Examining the Side Hustle Economy’
https://www.henleysa.ac.za/south-africans-are-side-hustling/, as many as one in three working South Africans are already operating some kind of side hustle to supplement their primary source of income and create a financial stop-gap. In fact, as more and more South Africans are seeking out secondary sources of income to try and keep pace with the rising cost of living, the gig economy – characterised by short term contracts and freelance work – is fast becoming the new normal.
South Africa is not unique in this growing trend of side hustles. Globally, surveys have shown that 35 – 45 percent of employed individuals earn extra income from part-time businesses and services. And it’s become an increasingly important avenue for retirees looking at ways of supplementing their pension provisions.
Side hustlers are resourceful individuals who find ways of supplementing their primary source of income – with some boosting their monthly earnings by up to 20 percent – through business activities which take place after the nine-to-five window of the normal working day, and over weekends. Typically, side hustlers create new employment opportunities, with more than 37 percent, according to Henley, employing at least one other person.
The majority of side hustlers surveyed (77.3 percent) said that their employers require them to disclose their business activities taking place outside their main job. And while some side hustles may evolve and turn into ‘front-and-centre hustles’ or full-time businesses – as was the case with legendary global brands like Apple and Instagram – insights from Henley’s survey show that the majority of South African side hustlers (56.3 percent) would probably or definitely stay in their main job, even if their side hustle took off.
“The beauty of a side hustle is that you can leverage your existing assets to your benefit, with a fraction of the risk of normal start-ups,” says Dale Reid, Product Marketing Manager at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.
“Simply by tapping into your skill set, or the tools already at your disposal, you can access additional work opportunities and unlock more earning potential.”
“For example, resourceful owners of Ranger bakkies have realised what a valuable secondary income stream their vehicles can provide after hours,” he continues. “There is literally always someone needing help with a household move or office relocation, as well as ad hoc deliveries, removals, and just general transportation of goods and equipment. Take someone who owns a Ranger XL double cab for example. This derivative comes standard with a towbar and is capable of hauling an incredible 3500kg. It also come fitted with inner and outer tiedown points to securely hold cargo in place. This makes the Ranger XL a very capable vehicle for a side hustle. Depending on what kind of side hustle they operate, and what type of cargo they load in the back, the owner may also invest in a weatherproof, lockable roller shutter door, or removable canopy.”
“The Ranger really is an incredibly versatile vehicle which offers outstanding value for money, but you don’t have to take my word for it,” he adds. “In a recent competition, based on the Average Joe’s ‘bakkie requirements’, and judged by five industry experts and professional drivers, our leisure-based Ranger 2.0 Bi-Turbo 4×4 Wildtrak Automatic, and our magnificent lifestyle-active Ranger Raptor went up against nine other double cabs. With a focus on real-world factors – like fuel consumption, load capacity, towing, safety, handling, 4×4 ability, interior, and long-term ownership – our Ranger Raptor and Ranger Wildtrak faired exceptionally well overall.”
“It’s important for drivers to note that in order to avoid changing the driving dynamics of a bakkie, weight distribution and the height of your cargo should always be taken into consideration,” continues Reid. “Heavier cargo should be placed towards the front of the load bed, and the weight of all the cargo should be centred and kept as low as possible.”
CAPTION: Supplementing income: the Ford Ranger family. Picture Quickpic