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10 of the Most Profitable Side Hustle Ideas in South Africa

10 of the Most Profitable Side Hustle Ideas in South Africa
January 20, 2020 gnuworld
side hustle

A recent report by the Henley Business School shows that as many as 27% of working South Africans currently have side hustles. These are extra or side jobs they do in their spare time, to raise extra cash, pursue their passions or both.

The most popular side hustles

That old cliché about putting all your eggs in one basket still rings true. By diversifying your income, you create various safety nets that can only count in your favour in volatile economic conditions.

Worldwide, people seem to choose various routes to generate additional income, all of them with one thing in common – a low entry barrier.

Based on the same Henley report, here are the 5 most popular side hustles:

  1. Professional business services
  2. Real estate
  3. Teaching, lecturing, tutoring
  4. Investments
  5. Selling goods

Creative side hustle ideas

If you want to make more money, you have to start thinking out of the box, without losing focus on what you have the capacity for. Some interesting, non-traditional side hustles include:

  1. Dog walking: Make sure you love animals and that you’re fit.
  2. Buy and sell: Although it’s super easy to list something online, you have to know what’s in demand to make regular sales. Progress your business by buying, fixing up and reselling popular products and items.
  3. Become an influencer: You get free stuff and get paid to market it! If you’ve built up a good social media following with your quirky posts and pictures, this is an option. As it’s quite a competitive field, focus on a niche, for example mother and baby products, vegetarian cooking, fashion and beauty or fitness.
  4. Bake and cook: You’re not going to make a fortune by selling fudge from your work desk. Aim bigger and approach restaurants, coffee shops and stores to stock your baked goods, pickles or sauces.
  5. Go to market: Whether you sell arts and crafts, clothing, jewellery or food and drink, festivals, concerts and expos are a great way to get your product out there and build up a following. Neighbourhood markets are increasingly popular, so consider a food stall or truck over weekends at markets such as Neighbourgoods or your local farmers or organic market.

10 Side hustles that will make you good money

It’s important to choose a side hustle that won’t take too much of your spare time, and that’s also lucrative. Statistics show that these are some of the most lucrative side hustles to pursue:

Real estate

Good old-fashioned mortar and bricks remain a solid investment. If you have enough savings or qualify for a loan at a good lending rate, consider starting a property portfolio.

Whether you have a full-time or flexi job, it’s fairly easy to manage a rental property in your spare time. Of course you can employ an agent – but do the math to see whether you can benefit from doing your own admin.

Remember that being a landlord isn’t always easy. Prepare to be contacted at odd hours to do repairs or organise contractors.

Management consulting

Employ your expertise and become a part-time consultant in your field. Whether you’re a marketer, business analyst, accountant or social media expert – you can earn extra money by advising startups, large companies, or people in their personal capacity.

Don’t limit yourself to physical consultations, as a large portion of services can be delivered online.

Investment management

If you have a financial qualification or business qualification, you can cash in by providing financial advice or managing stock on behalf of investors.

You’re only allowed to legally provide financial advice with a formal qualification and valid FSP licence, so make sure all the legal requirements are in place before attempting this side career.

Investment banking

Similar to management consulting, investment bankers can assist with corporate financial needs such as raising capital for a specific venture.

This is a very do-able, spare-time career if you have the knowledge and qualifications.


Whether you Airbnb a garden flat or plan events and weddings on the side – the hospitality industry offers many profitable options for any side hustler.


You don’t need to be an accountant to offer accounting services. If you have a knack for numbers, think of creative ways you can assist companies to earn extra money.

A lot of small businesses drown in invoices and expense receipts that have to be allocated and basically “tidied up”. Teach yourself how to operate the most used cloud accounting systems, and you’re good to go.

It’s something you can easily do over a weekend, so start looking out for potential clients to approach.

Professional coaching

See yourself as an expert in your field? Why not share your knowledge with other professionals and make some money in the process?

Symposiums and courses are easy to do over weekends – start with small groups and grow your following.


E-learning is a wide term used for any form of learning that takes place via electronic resources.

Whether you offer online tutoring for school students, or you do professional coaching via a video or podcast series, this is certainly a side hustle to look into.


Although managing a restaurant is a full-time commitment, there are definitely ways for those who are employed to benefit from the profitability of this industry.

You can invest in an eatery as a silent partner; buy into a franchise group; or appoint a full-time manager to run the show on your behalf.


With sites such as We Buy Cars and Weelee, it’s become super easy to make money on the side by buying and selling cars.

Parts are also in high-demand, and if you know a thing or two about motor mechanics, then look into buying used parts from scrap yards and reselling it online.

Of course, this category can also include taxi and food delivery services.

You can own and manage an Uber without having to drive it yourself (or do so on weekends, on your own terms); or rent out your car with Rent My Ride.

If you own a luxury vehicle, you can make a quick buck by chauffeuring people to weddings, matric dances and special occasions on weekends or after hours.

What we offer at The Workspace

To be convincing with your side hustle, you also have to appear professional.

At The Workspace, we offer affordable, fully serviced offices and coworking, and all our clients have access to meeting rooms, boardrooms and a range of business services. For more information or to arrange a tour of one of our branches, call us on 0861 250 259 or contact us online.

Contact us to find out more