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Swypa goes big in Soweto

Delivery service SMME helps businesses in SA's biggest township

Isaac Mahlangu Senior reporter
Swypa Deliveries.
Swypa Deliveries.
Image: Supplied

After thriving in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni, Swypa Deliveries is now delivering food, liquor, groceries, parcels and medicine in the country’s biggest township, Soweto.

The innovative township delivery service provider, which helps township-based businesses to easily reach a bigger market, has expanded its services to Soweto while also working on plans to hit Katlehong, Thokoza and Vosloorus on Gauteng’s East Rand.

Founder and CEO Boitumelo Monageng said expanding into Soweto started with 30 stores two months ago but now they have almost doubled the number with 58 stores already on board.

“The 58 stores are mostly restaurants, from local informal guys to national franchises... we got locals from Soweto who we trained, including in scooter driving,” Monageng said.

He said they started with 15 bikes in Soweto and were already seeing traction as they have now employed 22 people.

“Everyone we’ve employed in Soweto is from Soweto and for every area we will expand to we will train and source local guys,” Monageng said.

Monageng said from next week they will use an application that will allow both orders and payments to be made on its platform.

Swypa is now rendering its services using a call centre, WhatsAppp and Facebook.

Last year, Sowetan reported how about 50 township businesses in Tembisa, including kota makers, were using Swypa delivery services to reach customers across the township.

Founded in 2019, Swypa has grown in leaps and bounds as it now employs more than 40 people in the two townships it operates in.

Monageng said they were already working on launching in the Kathorus region before covering all townships in the province.

Last week, Swypa got a rare opportunity to pitch to international investors as part of the World Expo held in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Monageng said their pitch went well as two international investors had already made follow-up engagements as they are interested in investing in the company.

Food Chronicles in Dlamini, Soweto, a fast food outlet and coffee bar, has been on Swypa since November.

Sabelo Mathidi, co-owner of Food Chronicles, said having Swypa on board has been a blessing for their business.

“It’s been great working with Swypa. In fact, it has removed a whole lot of stress from us because I used to do the deliveries myself and with one bakkie it was a bit challenging,” Mathidi said.

Swypa’s expansion into Soweto was made possible through funding from the MutliChoice Innovation Fund.

Collen Dlamini, group executive for corporate affairs at MultiChoice, said: “As MultiChoice we are excited to see the SMMEs that we invest in grow and expand as we know this creates more opportunities for their employees, potential employees and value chain as a whole.”

Dlamini said with unemployment rates so high in the country, assisting Swypa was an important intervention for MultiChoice.

“We understand that the SMME sector is critical to create opportunities in SA. It should be noted that when SMMEs receive funding, growth and success is not guaranteed; financing is but one part of building and developing a business,” he said.

“It is through the innovative thinking, business planning and sheer hard work that businesses like Swypa succeed and expand.”

He said a business like Swypa “takes into context the nuances of the communities in which they operate. They understand the needs of these communities and develop sustainable and expandable solutions to build a business that serves a community.”

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