South Africa's economy continues to grow at a relatively solid rate, and so does the number of people now connected to the Internet in the country.
Broadband infrastructure has not always kept pace with user needs, and because South Africans have traditionally had some difficulty with international sites, they are visiting and purchasing products and services primarily from local sites.
Many of these sites have American counterparts and look very familiar to an American visitor. Because they are in English, moreover, there are perhaps some significant and lucrative IT business opportunities in the South African market.
So, let’s just take a look at some of the most popular sites in South Africa — it may give you some thoughts on expanding your own Information Technology-related business.
As the site name implies, this is a 24-hour local, national, and international news sites that provides up-to-the-minute news and stories.
The site is hugely popular in South Africa, particularly as the use of mobile devices increases.
A huge clearing house for buying, selling, job classifieds, and more.
This site is South Africa’s answer to America’s Craigslist. It even looks quite similar in design and format.
This site first appeared in 1999 but did not initially achieve a lot of popularity. It is amazingly similar to eBay.
People can sell items directly to a buyer or put them up for auction. Fees are calculated using the same model as eBay uses.
Banking And Financial Services
Three of the most popular websites in South Africa are those belonging to financial institutions.
Fnb.co.za offers online banking services of all types and boasts 7.2 mobile customers right now.
StandardBank.co.za is a banking company with brick and mortar presence but with full web-based banking services as well.
Absa.co.za is probably the largest commercial bank in South Africa, and provides all of the same banking services — online access to accounts, bill pay, transfers, etc.
This is a huge site for advertising and classified ads.
It has great search functions, and people use it to find products, services, and to buy items from other individuals. Sort of a combination of Angie’s list and Craigslist.
A giant online newspaper with about 22,000,000 views a month, and more international visitors than any other South African website.
News focus is international, but it also covers local, national, and international, weather, and business, as well as houses a huge classified ad section.
This site keeps consumer up to date on all sorts of IT and tech news.
It also covers news on energy, utilities, and infrastructure — all hot issues in South Africa right now.
South Africa’s answer to Monster.com. And it operates just like Monster does — a place for employers and candidates to connect.
Job seekers can upload their resumes in a database or apply for specific posted positions.
What IT Business Opportunities Does This Present?
Not one of the most popular sites is related to kids. Perhaps there is a market for the design and development of kid-friendly sites.
Looking toward the future, there is a growing middle class in the country, and with middle class comes home computers and additional mobile devices. Kids’ use of technology will only grow.
Web design and content marketing may still have a long way to go in South Africa. When three of the most popular websites are banks, two are news related, and only two are engaged in buying and selling products, one might wonder what the saturation level is for small businesses who just may not yet have a web presence.
All of this can be accomplished remotely once the contacts are made. It’s certainly worth researching a bit more.