Johannesburg, 24 July 2019 – Numerous industries felt the pinch of tough economic times this past year. The direct selling industry was no different.

However, despite this, the Direct Selling Association (DSA) of South Africa still showed trends which look set to spiral into positive gains in years to come.

Unpacking industry results and trends for 2018 at a gathering at the Gallagher Convention Centre on 24 July 2019, DSA chairperson, Cornelle van Graan, said the results were indicative of the general economic climate..

“Although 2018 was a challenging year due to the tough economic environment in South Africa, a number of the individual member companies of the DSA still enjoyed growth,” she says.

The industry regulatory body, DSA, has 31 member companies locally who also operate in some countries on the continent of Africa.

The DSA gathers its statistics from all of its member companies. The overall size of the industry on the continent of Africa grew by 1% from around R16.2-billion in 2017 to R16.3-billion in 2018. The South African industry contributes 78% of the overall industry size on the continent.

Van Graan says growth was obvious in the other African regions, however the local figure showed a slight decline. “The size of the South African industry in 2017 was about R13.5-billion, this dropped to R12.8-billion in 2018,” she says, which was a 5% drop from the previous year.

The number of direct sellers in South Africa also dropped by 5%, however the industry still boasts almost 1.2 million active direct sellers in the country.

“Trends reveal that there is a rise in younger direct sellers. The percentage of active direct sellers under 35 years of age grew by 2%. This is an indication that this industry is appealing to tomorrow’s consumers, which is the direction we are gearing towards,” says Van Graan

The results were revealed at an annual Awards Luncheon themed: “The Future is Us. Get Future Fit.

“The future is undeniably digital. This means our industry also has to keep up with digitisation in a world where the fourth industrial revolution and the Internet of Things are on the tips of all industry tongues. The fact that we have appeal to the Generation Z and Millennial markets, who have become the models for tomorrow’s customers and their demands, means that the data we collect from this segment of our industry will best place us for success in the future,” Van Graan says.

She adds that tough economic times present industries with opportunities to strengthen existing strategies and to re-strategise.

“The direct selling industry has embraced this as a challenge and an opportunity to shape up our digital prowess and become future fit.”


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The Direct Selling Association of South Africa is a self-governing organisation that protects the interests of South African consumers and its members, as well as the independent resellers of its members. It ensures that all member companies abide by the DSASA’s strict Code of Conduct and operates in a legitimate, honest and ethical manner. The DSA will respond to any complaint by any member of the public or any of its members, alleging any unethical or unprofessional behaviour. All complaints will be handled and resolved with member companies and all unresolved complaints or complaints about non-member companies will be referred to the National Consumer Commission.