Stocktake: Open for business

Business activity and innovation from the fashion industry, Ukheshe, Hyde Park Corner, and the UCT Liberty Strategic Marketing Institute.

There definitely seems to be a welcome new energy about as business reopens and South Africa’s second COVID-19 wave subsides. This virus will be with us a long time and we can’t pause everything, waiting for it to disappear. While vaccines give us hope for the future, we still have to continue to do business in order to rebuild our economies.

The Fashion Hero offers brands global exposure

Spice Girl Mel B hits our shores to host and begin filming for the second season of reality TV show, The Fashion Hero, in March at Sun City in South Africa. Opportunities exist for brands to sponsor the series. Gail Hoffman Parrish of G2 Connection, the integrated marketing agency managing all brand immersion for the 10-episode, 60-minute reality programme, says that series incorporates contestants from all over the world – all ethnicities, genders, shapes and sizes. “The Fashion Hero will suit brands in the tourism, alcohol, fashion, mobile, beauty, telco, sports apparel, health, skin care, fragrance, beverages and finance categories. Brands will get to work with all contestants from the beginning and select their favourite before mentoring them as a future brand ambassador. Brands will also get to work with the contestants during the challenges, both on- and off-camera.”

In addition, participating brands will also be on programme’s judging panel. “We have a team of 40 international influencers who reach millions of people and promote The Fashion Hero TV series and website on their platforms. The show’s reach is nearing 100 million people from all around the world,” says Hoffman Parrish. “The 32 contestants will be mentored by internationally recognised social media influencers from all over the world, including South Africa, who are champions of diversity themselves.” The first season of The Fashion Hero aired in over 160 territories worldwide, had over a million fans on Facebook.

Ukheshe and KCB in deal to boost East African payment services

In an initiative that will see the growth and development of payment services within the East Africa region, leading digital fintech platform provider, Ukheshe, has announced the conclusion of a new agreement with the Kenya-based lender KCB Bank Kenya. Through the agreement, KCB will sponsor Ukheshe’s Bank Identification Number (BIN) number, which will allow Ukheshe to immediately issue both physical and virtual cards across East Africa where KCB has an extensive footprint. According to Victor Ndlovu, vice president of Ukheshe Africa, the deal will include other innovative digital products such as QR issuing and acquiring. “By joining forces with KCB we are well-placed to address several open loop market opportunities while boosting wider consumer adoption. Payment options across various segments will benefit such as payroll, companion cards, multi-currency prepaid cards, travel cards and gift cards, together with social security and other government benefit programs such as insurance claims.”

Ndlovu says financial inclusion remains a massive challenge in the region and across the continent where millions of people are either unbanked or severely underserved. In recent months, Ukheshe has ramped up efforts to establish and enhance key partnerships in Africa as the continent shifts towards digital channels, products and services across all categories. “Embracing a digital-first approach is not only a win for African consumers but for fintechs, banks, payment processors, as well as issuers and merchants.”

Hyde Park Corner rolls out solar project
Hyde Park Corner, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The carbon footprint of Hyde Park Corner has decreased with the installation of a 384 kWp solar PV system on the two office block roofs and carports on the North Eastern parking deck. The system, rolled out by Solareff, consists of 900 430W half cut Mono Percium panels which are currently the most commercially efficient panels available. The panels will generate approximately 674 400kWh energy per annum translating into saving of approximately 701.4 tons in carbon emissions every year which equates to 5.38 % of the total annual energy requirements at Hyde Park being produced from renewable resources. Hyde Park Corner’s general manager, Jacqui McGeehan explains: “This roll-out of solar panels will also mitigate the risk of continuous, rising electricity costs for the company. The electrical power generated by the solar system is fed back into the centre grid and consumed in total.”

The mall’s holding company is conscious of the business’s environmental impact. Hyprop CEO, Morné Wilken comments: “As part of Hyprop’s drive to continually minimise the impact on the environment, one of our key focus areas is to reduce the consumption of natural resources where possible. The installation of solar, a renewable energy source, is only part of our drive towards positive change in creating safe environments and spaces where people can connect and be part of a community. At completion, six of our nine malls will be making use of solar power.”

This week in numbers:


South Africa’s new minimum wage is R21.69 per hour – an increase of 4.5%. This translates to R867.60 per week on a 40 hour work week; or R3,643.92 per month on an average 21-day work month. The new minimum wage was gazetted by the National Minimum Wage Commission on Monday. Minimum rates were also set out for some regional categories of retail and wholesale workers; contract cleaning companies; and domestic workers.

 QUOTE of the week:

“Marketing is not just about tactics, there is a whole picture to marketing. Everything builds to meet your business goals in the beginning. This is the whole picture,” said marketing consultant Gillian Rightford, who is one of the editors of a new marketing textbook, Marketing to South African Consumers,, which is free for all to download, being interviewed on last week.


*Stocktake is a weekly roundup of current FMCG retailing and brand news, curated and edited by Retailing Africa Publisher & Editor, Louise Burgers. Keep the industry updated and send your announcements and news to:


Louise Burgers is the Publisher and Editor and Co-Founder of She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger in the next decade.


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