Acta Universitatis Danubius. Œconomica, Vol 14, No 7 (2018)

Township SMME sustainability: a South African Perspective

Michael Colin Cant, Claudette Rabie


SMMEs in townships are countlessly overlooked as an important sector contributing to the economic growth and development of a country. Many SMMEs, however, fail within the first few years of starting their business. Hence, this research article argues that more has to be done to assist these SMMEs to become sustainable in their particular townships. It would be valuable to obtain some insight into township SMMEs in order to assist these businesses. Therefore, the main purpose of this research article was to examine the perceived sustainability of township SMMEs. The research study endeavoured to examine the perceptions of SMMEs in terms of the type of businesses considered to be feasible in townships; the impact of township size on the sustainability of SMMEs; and perceptions with regards to keeping current businesses operational in townships. An exploratory research approach was adopted for this research study and data was collected from 498 SMME owners across South Africa by means of a survey questionnaire. The main factors that contribute to the sustainability of SMMEs in townships were identified in the study. Moreover, the study found that respondents perceive the sustainability of SMMEs in townships across South Africa in a positive light. For that reason, it is suggested that institutions harness this positivity and assist these SMMEs to expand and grow their businesses. It is furthermore suggested that a dedicated approach is required to make township businesses viable and relevant.


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