A new loyalty programme has the townships abuzz. Founded by two young entrepreneurs, Lucky Kgwadi and Edgar Lebelo, e-Kasi Bucks has the explicit intent to empower small businesses in townships around Gauteng.
Always entrepreneurs at heart, Kgwadi and Lebelo started their first business in their final year of university, and a few others thereafter, and it was this, and their involvement in other projects, like the promotion of entrepreneurship and investment, that gave rise to the idea of e-Kasi Bucks.
What is e-Kasi Bucks?
According to co-founder and president, Lucky Kgwadi, e-Kasi Bucks was founded after Kgwadi and other co-founder and director, Edgar Lebelo, experienced challenges when their businesses that operated in the townships faced harsh competition from the growing number of shopping complexes.
e-Kasi Bucks aims to develop small, independent businesses in the township by upscaling their competitiveness through implementable business systems, ultimately strengthening the township economy.
It is, essentially, a loyalty programme that works on a Blockchain-based system. e-Kasi Bucks is therefore a cryptocurrency (like bitcoin – a digitally based currency that operates independently from central banks).
When customers make purchases from independent businesses registered as e-Kasi Bucks merchants, the points they earn can be used to get discounts or to purchase other products. This holds benefits for both the customer and the merchant, and serves as an incentive to support the local township economy.
The only requirement to join the programme as a registered merchant is to be a township-based formal or informal business, and Kgwadi says they have been inundated with inquiries from both customers and merchants from across the country.
Although e-Kasi Bucks is currently only operating in Gauteng townships (in the townships of Mabopane, Soshanguve, Ga-Rankuwa, Mamelodi, Atteridgeville, Soweto, Tembisa, Vosloorus, Alexandra and Sebokeng), Kgwadi says that the founders are already involved in talks with government departments in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal to expand into these provinces within the next two weeks, eventually taking the initiative across South Africa.
How to get involved
Do you have a small business operating in a township and would like to get involved with this exciting programme? Contact Lucky Kgwadi or Edgar Lebelo via email – details on their website – or visit their Facebook page for the latest news on e-Kasi Bucks.
If you are based in Soweto, you can get your e-Kasi Bucks consumer card at the Chaf Pozi restaurant for free, and residents of Mamelodi can get theirs at various tuck shops and all My Spaza franchises.