Ask Afrika unveils link between economic status and tradition in townships


Just like in the suburbs, there are geographic socio-economic divisions within the townships and each of these districts has a certain social background, but the individual living within each of them is as varied as in the suburbs. There are so many complex factors that determine an individual’s alignment with traditional value systems compared to contemporary value systems, but there is a correlation between economic status and this spectrum.

Kasi Star Brands measures county-specific brand usage across 163 categories and is a spinoff from Ask Afrika Icon Brands (coming July), which are the brands most faithfully used by consumers across all socio-economic divisions, cultural, racial and other. . The Ask Afrika Kasi Star Brand survey focuses on the brands and products that Kasi consumers use faithfully.

Socio-economic status in townships is often linked to the values ​​of life. At the bottom are the survivors. Everything they do is calculated to survive and add more value to life. Every penny they spend must earn them, they stretch the ingredients in the kitchen and their buying behavior is all about promotion. Survivors are more traditional, but will do what they can to maintain their social status and claim to have better lives than themselves. Women who are often the grocers honor their “femininity”.

Each purchasing decision is very technical and calculated and this group has mastered the art of surviving and living on very little. Townships are not necessarily their home, but they try to make the most of what they have. The lives of survivors are geared towards sharing, and the ability to do so is often part of maintaining social status. Stokvels and joint purchases make sense and the way it is done is very sophisticated.

The middle economic segment is more materialistic. They still have affordability issues, but the main focus is on social mobility and status, which is often based on pretense. Social status in the here and now is central and there is a short term view. This group often lives far beyond their means. There is no linear relationship between price and income. This group is the least traditional and values ​​contemporary lifestyles, they want to be seen as modern and “with it”. Their life values ​​are based on the expression of status, access, ownership of their own life, sense of well-being and respect.

This higher economic level is more self-actualizing. They can afford to leave the township, but do not. They are proud of their heritage, they value tradition, but express it through a modern lens. They value both tradition and what a contemporary lifestyle has to offer and balance the two. They don’t see why they need to conform to Western ideals to be worthy and there is pride in black consciousness. This segment is very ambitious and educated. Education is a differentiator or a dividing variable. This group pretends less, earns more and builds the community from a perspective of pride.

We cannot consider the residents of the townships as walking demographics. Proximity does not create homogeneity, it is important for marketers to understand the underlying currents and the role that alignment with traditional customs and values ​​of contemporary living has on the purchasing decision. Marketers need to understand the complex levels of planning, calculated by living in the township environment, where buying decisions are often less impulsive and spontaneous. Ask Afrika can help marketers with co-planning.

Ask Afrika surveyed a total of 6,763 Kasi consumers, and the Kasi Star Brand survey represents the opinions of 9,694,666 Kasi consumers living in South Africa. The survey represents 73% of the overall population of South African townships. Face-to-face interviews were carried out within Kasi households. To make sure everything is correct, an outside company BDO and Dr Neethling were asked to verify all the results. In this year’s survey, 24 Kasi Star brands were identified, followed by winners in 163 product categories.

These are the brands and products that you are most likely to find in a South African Kasi household.

To learn more about Ask Afrika’s KASI Star Brands â„¢ or to order a report, email Maria Petousis, Ask Afrika TGI Director at [email protected] or send an email to Julie-Anne Terblanche, Client Services Manager for TGI Ask Afrika at [email protected]. Otherwise, call +27 12 428-7400.


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