Consumers: Middle class set to sparkle even more brightly

2008-07-25 00:00

Johannesburg — Mzamo Masito, founder of People’s Insights Consultancy and named “young global leader” at the World Economic Forum, says the black middle class is set to grow from a current 2,6 million people accounting for R180 billion to become a key driver of economic growth.

He advises businesses to start preparing now for this inevitable growth spurt.

“In 20 to 30 years, the landscape is going to change when the black middle class grows from 2,6 million to 20 million, and business should then have a 90% market share and not only be starting,” Masito told the Association of Corporate Treasurers of Southern Africa this week.

He said the black middle class — or “black diamonds” — accounted for 28% of SA’s spending power in the first quarter of 2007, while whites accounted for R235 billion. Total black buying power is R335 billion.

Masito said 47% of “black diamonds” now live in the suburbs and predicted the emergence of “semi-suburbs” between townships and existing suburbs, offering accommodation in the R400 000 to R500 000 zone.

He said young families will be around 27% of the new class as over 64% of children are born to single mothers.

“The consumer of the future is going to be black and if you project forward, there will be more black diamonds than the entire white population,” Masito said.

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