Naspers pumps investment into Takealot ahead of Amazon arrival in South Africa

By Loni Prinsloo, Jennifer Zabasajja and Janice Kew

Naspers Ltd., Africa’s largest company by market value, is boosting investment into its South African online retailer ahead of Amazon.com Inc.’s entry into the country’s fast-growing ecommerce market. 

“We are investing a lot more into our businesses,” Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, chief executive officer of Naspers’ South African unit, said in an interview on Bloomberg TV Wednesday. “We are well positioned toward being able to deal with whatever could be coming from Amazon.”

Read more: Amazon announces launch of online retail in South Africa in 2024

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 Inc. and Amazon, which will roll out online delivery there this year.

Naspers owns Takealot, South Africa’s top online retailer, and has been expanding its services to include one-hour delivery for items 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 Chief Executive Officer Mamongae Mahlare said last year.

Read more: Naspers accelerates profitability target and delivers on objectives

Online retail sales in South Africa grew 30% to 55 billion rand ($3 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.”

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2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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