Looking for a way to make a little extra income? The side hustle is a pretty common trend in South Africa, with a number of people using it to make ends meet or supplement their disposable income. In fact, a recent report by BrandMapp found that out of all the middle-class South Africans surveyed, 35% were working on more than one income.


While it’s not for everyone, having a business on the side is an ideal way to bring in more money if you have a skill that you can monetize before, or after hours. And who knows, it might bring you so much joy that it becomes your main hustle!


If you’re looking for ideas to get your side hustle going, but not too sure where to start, we’ve got some business ideas below that are proving popular in South Africa.


Affiliate marketing


Affiliate marketing is perfect if you already have a website set up that receives a decent amount of traffic. It gives you the opportunity to partner with  a relevant industry partner and make commission on the sales you bring them via your website. You will be provided with banner ads to place on your website, and everytime one of your users clicks through and makes a purchase, you get a cut!


Just be careful about who you choose to partner with. Make sure your business or industry matches well with the business you choose to advertise for, and that if a sale is made, you earn a decent amount from it. 




Do you have a useful skill set that can easily be transferred to helping local clients out? Freelancing outside of work hours is ideal for copywriters, social media experts, photographers and even brand strategists to earn a little extra without the need to learn a new trade or start a new idea from scratch.


While mainly suited for those who have digital marketing skills, freelancing can involve any online skill that one might have. If you’re confident in your ability to provide a service that people are looking for, set your rate and you can start! 




If you’re well versed in an academic subject, are at expert level at your yoga practise or have mastered the art of baking, you can turn your practical skill into knowledge sharing and earn more money. Plus, it’s not location specific! You can tutor or teach anyone, from anywhere and anytime as long as you have a decent internet connection.


Sell second hand goods


If you haven’t got an easily transferable skill, but you’re savvy with selling you can turn used goods into cash! Start with any items you might have lying around, and move onto taking items from friends and family who need to get rid of things they no longer use. In fact, the goods don’t even have to be second hand. If you’re passionate about a specific type of product, do your research into wholesalers in your area and approach them to become a stockist.


It’s easy to start off on platforms like Facebook and Yaga, but you can easily create your own store right from home. Once you have a name for yourself, invest in an e-commerce website and you can upload products straight to your very own platform for sale. Setting up a website is relatively simple these days, with DIY web builders making the process quick, user-friendly and affordable to maintain.


Select a provider that can offer you web hosting, domain registration and website security all at once and you’re all set to go.


Starting up a side hustle in 2021 isn’t about reinventing the wheel and shaking up your industry. Think about what you’re good at or are highly interested in, that you can sustainably work on during your free time and you’re one step closer to making it happen.