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Tiger Brands drives township expansion by recruiting unemployed youth, young people with disabilities

Tiger Brands is expected to recruit unemployed youth and People living with a Disability from local communities to support the company’s drive to increase its presence in South Africa’s informal sector, which includes spaza stores.

In 2023, the company announced its route-to-market strategy aimed at increasing its presence in a targeted 130,000 general trade stores, including spazas, superettes, mini-superettes, mini- and midi-wholesalers, across South Africa’s townships over a period of five years.

The business will also increase marketing spend in 2000 selected stores in this sector, which it calls Perfect Outlets.

Job creation in local communities is core to delivering on Tiger Brands’ growth ambitions in the informal sector of the local economy. The business’ expansion in the informal sector has already created around 300 jobs in local communities, with a focus on women.

According to recent 2024 figures by Statistics South Africa, half of South Africa’s youth population or 4.9 million young people between the ages of 15 and 34 are unemployed with young women more vulnerable to unemployment compared to young men. And 68% of people living with a disability are without work (National Council of and for People with Disabilities, 2019).

In the pilot phase of the Tiger Brands learnership recruitment drive for unemployed youth and young people living with a disability, Tiger Brands will recruit 32 candidates from Soweto, Alexandra, and Tembisa in Gauteng, to work in the communities that they are from.

Recruits will be placed on a fixed-term contract and participate in a learnership programme, earning them a marketable national qualification.

This group is part of more than 80 young talented individuals who are being recruited and developed through learnerships across Tiger Brands’ site operations.

“Tiger Brands is building a solid foundation of support to deliver with speed our route-to-market strategy in a segment of the economy that is underserviced and where there is an opportunity for us to fulfil consumer needs and grow exponentially as a business.

“Our talented recruits will offer significant value to help grow our presence in these important markets with their local insights and understanding of their respective communities.

Recruits will have the opportunity to gain experience and grow with agility in the spaces where they live and work,” says Luigi Ferrini, chief customer officer, Tiger Brands.

During the practical work integrated learning component of the programme, recruits will be paired with an experienced employee who works in the trade daily and understands the specific market well.

Some of the in-trade duties the recruits will undertake include in-store merchandise audits, point-of-sale merchandise placement, stock despatch and control.

“Tiger Brands is building a pipeline of talented young people equipped with the necessary qualifications, skills and practical experience, which will reshape their future and have them play an active role in our economy,” says S’ne Magagula, chief human resource officer, Tiger Brands.

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