Naspers, Africa’s largest company by market value, is boosting investment into Takealot Group ahead of Amazon.com’s entry into the country’s fast-growing e-commerce market.
“We are investing a lot more into our businesses,” Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, CEO of Naspers’s South African unit, said in an interview on Wednesday. “We are well positioned towards being able to deal with whatever could be coming from Amazon.”
South Africa is the continent’s most developed economy and has a youthful population, together with one of the largest upper-middle-income markets in the region. It’s potential is drawing increasing attention from retail giants like Walmart and Amazon, which will roll out online marketplace operations this year.
Naspers owns Takealot, South Africa’s top online retailer, and has been expanding its services to include one-hour delivery for ranging from phone chargers to toys, in anticipation of Amazon’s arrival.
E-commerce only makes up about 4% of South African retail, presenting the opportunity to grow the market three to five times faster than in peer countries, Takealot CEO Mamongae Mahlare said last year.
Online retail sales in South Africa grew 30% to R55-billion in 2022, according to a study by market research firm World Wide Worx.
“It’s good for South Africa that Amazon is attracted to coming into the market,” Mahanyele-Dabengwa said. “At Takealot, I think we’re very well positioned. We know our market very, very well.” — Loni Prinsloo, Jennifer Zabasajja and Janice Kew, (c) 2024 Bloomberg LP