South Africans show love to their neighbourhood businesses in latest Santam report

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(Image: Getty Images)
(Image: Getty Images)

There is no doubt that small and medium businesses play a critical role in South Africa’s economy and in our local neighbourhoods. In fact, according to Stats SA, small businesses were responsible for generating 22% ( R2,3 trillion) of the total turnover generated by industries in the South African formal business sector in 2019.

Part of their success is the continued support they get from their local consumers. But what makes consumers keep coming back to these businesses? 

The third edition of Santam’s Most Loved Local survey revealed that a good overall experience is what makes a business the most loved. It found that 22% of the 2400 respondents valued this more than anything. 

The survey, powered by one of the largest short-term insurers in South Africa, is an initiative aimed at showcasing some of the country's most valued community businesses. Arthur Goldstuck and his World Wide Worx research team used Google Maps businesses and Tripadvisor ratings to select the most highly rated businesses in South Africa.

"This year’s report highlights how consumers unanimously agree that it is essential to support local businesses. It’s great to see this positive sentiment because small businesses continue to be crucial contributors to the country’s economic growth and recovery following a rough couple of years and play a vital role in their communities," said Gerald van Wyk, the Executive Head of Strategic Business Development for Santam.

These are some of the most loved local businesses in SA:


Family-owned Mezepoli Restaurant in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, was voted the most popular restaurant in the country for its modern yet simple take on Mediterranean cuisine.

(Image: Supplied

For those looking to feed their sweet tooth and love of pastry, The BakeHouse in Pretoria took the top prize for the most loved bakery in the country. The bakery weathered the Covid-19 storm and secured the top spot by drawing its customers back with its daily, freshly baked products, sourced from small family-run or independent suppliers.

(Image: Supplied

A good weekend braai is a staple in the lives of most South Africans, and West End Vleismark in Kimberley was voted the most loved butchery and the perfect place to get the best cuts that will leave your guests drooling for more this festive season. 

(Image: Supplied


Just off one of the country’s busiest stretches of road, the N2, is a family-friendly market that was voted the most loved food market. Outeniqua Family Market in George is located along the scenic Garden Route and offers food, entertainment, and crafts for the whole family. 

(Image: Supplied

Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves and one of the biggest tourist attractions in the country, scooped the prize for most loved local entertainment. Spanning a vast 2 million hectares, the park offers front-row seats to the many wonders of nature. 

(Image: Supplied

Health and wellness

For rest and relaxation, One&Only Spa in Cape Town was voted the most loved local spa. The spa, nestled between the vertical cliffs of Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head, is known for keeping it local by incorporating numerous natural South African elements in the treatments.

(Image: Supplied)

For those looking to get in shape or stay in shape this summer, Viva Gym Walmer in Gqeberha was voted the most loved gym. Its supportive and friendly staff, as well as its unique month-to-month subscription model, helps the gym stay head and shoulders above the rest. 

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Local pharmacies are the backbone of any community, as they ensure that everyone is living a happy and healthy life. Umhlanga Medisport Pharmacy has been doing just that for the last 71 years. The boutique pharmacy was voted the most loved pharmacy for its 24/7, 365-day service. 

(Image: Supplied

Decor and DIY

When it comes to creating unique and out-of-the-box design projects, look no further than Redesign-Interiors in Durban, who were voted the most loved interior decorators. Over the last 12 years, the business has grown from residential projects to include corporate, and hospitality work.

(Image: Supplied

If you fancy yourself a handyman and are looking for building materials to help you in your quest, BUCO Rustenberg was voted the most loved local building material. The business, which has been described as the fabric of the community, offers a wide range of quality building materials and services for the convenience of its customers. 

(Image: Supplied

Everyday needs

For all your clothing needs, Exclusive Dry Cleaners in Johannesburg was voted the most loved local dry cleaner. The father-and-son business has been around since 1981 and takes the top spot for the second time having won their first award in 2019. The business strives to keep up with the latest dry cleaning and laundry technology. 

(Image: Supplied

City View Car Wash in Durban was voted the most loved car wash and secured its Most Loved Local status when, during the lockdown, it was one of the first car washes in the region to sanitise customers’ vehicles. 

(Image: Supplied

What makes a business most loved?

If you want to give this year's winners a run for their money in the next round of the Most Loved Local survey, focusing on overall service is essential. Not only was it the top reason why 22% of the respondents valued it over everything, but it was also the top reason they would recommend a business to someone else.

"This year’s survey revealed that customers selected a good overall experience as their primary criterion, followed by value for money and quality products." 

The survey also found that 18% of the respondents said that they were looking for friendly staff when asked what else they were looking for in their local business.

"In this part of the survey, we asked South Africans what more they wanted from their local businesses, apart from the factors that made them fall in love with them initially. This is when we saw 'friendly staff' come to the fore. So, it’s evident that locals want more businesses to have friendly staff that know the customers by name and whom customers can connect with. It would make locals love a business in the community even more," commented Goldstuck. 

Read the full report from Santam’s Most Loved Local 2022 HERE

This post was sponsored by the Santam and produced by Adspace Studio.

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