“Not only does direct selling develop entrepreneurs, but it develops the best type of entrepreneur for the South African economy – business owners who do not want to only benefit themselves, but want to benefit others by helping them to build their own successful businesses. These are the types of entrepreneurs South Africa needs. Ones who will create social benefits for others in addition to their own benefits,” said Deputy Minister of Finance, Mcebisi Jonas. He presented the keynote address at the recent South African DSA Awards Luncheon. He described direct selling as part of the solidarity economy, which stands in stark contrast to the cut throat culture of business. The solidarity economy has a culture of community and cooperation, of mutual support and solidarity, of shared responsibility and a local culture committed to social development. “We will all be better off if we are able to strengthen these networks,” said Jonas.
DSA SA and its 37 member companies have been facilitating job creation and entrepreneurship through income generating opportunities for over one million people in South Africa, many of whom are building their own successful businesses.
“A huge percentage of South Africa’s population is economically restricted from making their financial dreams come true. Lack of finances and minimal education limits the degree to which people can advance in the formal business sector,” said Richard Clarke, Chairman of the SA DSA. “Through hard work and commitment, direct selling offers people the opportunity to make an income that enables them to step away from the confines of those restrictions and make a real difference in their lives.”
The South African DSA is the only direct selling association on the African continent and hopes to be instrumental in developing the industry to expand across Africa. “Direct selling can provide answers to a number of problems facing the African continent at present, including poverty, unemployment and a lack of skills. We hope to maximize the opportunity of direct selling as a force for good across the continent,” said Clarke. A video message from WFDSA Executive Director Tamuna Gabilaia was broadcasted at the luncheon and supported this vision.
The DSA SA Awards Luncheon is an annual event that attracts around 400 senior executives and distributors as well as invited academics, media and government, who join together to celebrate direct selling industry achievements. Latest industry growth results were presented by DSA Chairman Richard Clarke, Personality of the Year Awards were presented to this year’s leading industry ambassadors, Vision for Tomorrow Awards were presented to honor the top Corporate Social Investment programs, and the top achieving students from our successful academic program were also called to stage in recognition of their success.