Direct selling a lifeline for many

Direct sellers who are entrepreneurs in their own right have earned a combined R2,4 billion during the 2019 calendar year.

This was revealed by Rajesh Parshotam, chairperson of the Direct Selling Association of South Africa (DSA), at the 2020 annual conference of the industry held on Thursday (19/11). The DSA is as self-regulatory body that houses 28 local and overseas-based member companies.

The latest data released at the conference shows that there are more than 760 000 direct sellers in South Africa.

“The resilience of direct selling is one of the features that attracts so many South Africans to this route to market products and services. The industry generates more than R9 billion in annual sales in SA, and globally a staggering R2 trillion,” Parshotam said.

“This figure only accounts for sales generated by DSA member companies. The total industry figure is considerably more than R9 billion.”

He said data showed that the DSA had attracted interest in direct selling from members of the public.

“This is because of the impact Covid-19 has had on livelihoods in the country.

“As household incomes have come under pressure due to job losses and possibly the reduction in incomes, we have been experiencing an increase in enquiries and this ‘new reality’ is moving the market closer to our industry as people look to supplement, protect or boost their incomes.”

He said according to the latest data, the direct selling industry provided a full-time career to more than 170 000 people in South Africa.

“This is a significant figure given our levels of unemployment. Direct selling is not just a place where people facing economic difficulty have taken refuge, but a business opportunity providing a full-time career to a significant number of people around the world.”

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