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The 9 easiest side hustles to start in South Africa today

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Tattooed woman sitting on the floor, working on her side hustle on her laptop.

Whether you need a way to keep up with rising costs or want to build your savings faster, starting a side hustle is a great way to go.

The question is… which side hustle?

This points out 9 popular side hustle categories, ideas for each and tips on how to get started.

Let’s get started.


Side hustles in South Africa

A side hustle is a way to make some extra cash. And, in some cases, an opportunity to switch professions or start a business.

In reality, there are thousands of side-hustles in the world. Most of which fall into a category with other similar side-hustles. Understanding the categories can help you identify the best opportunities and inspire you to think of unique side hustle ideas.

First, we’ll look at the categories and describe them. Then, we’ll share a couple of ideas you can try.

Here are 9 popular side hustles categories:

  • Freelancing: This includes graphic design, writing, web development, and other remote work that you can do on a flexible schedule.
  • Commerce: From selling handmade crafts to dropshipping, commerce-based side hustles allow you to sell products online or in person.
  • In-person services: These are hands-on jobs such as gardening, pet sitting, cleaning services, or personal training.
  • Content marketing: Creating and monetize blogs, YouTube channels, or social media profiles.
  • Teaching and consulting: Sharing your expertise in areas like music, academics, business, or fitness can be profitable.
  • Delivery and transportation services: Opportunities include food delivery, ridesharing, and courier services.
  • Creative arts and entertainment: This includes photography, music, and crafts.
  • Real estate and property management: You can become an Airbnb host, property manager, or real estate agent.
  • Event planning and services: Plan events, do catering, or provide DJ services as a side hustle.


Which category are you drawn to? 

Remember the category. We’re going to share ideas next. Check out all the categories and pay special attention to the one you’re interested in.


Struggling to keep up with your debt?

Our team can help make your debt affordable once again.

We help thousands of South Africans to reduce their monthly debt repayments, protect them from legal action, and keep their assets — our team can help you too.


Side hustle ideas

Ready to find your perfect side hustle? Here are some ideas for each of the categories. Plus how to get started.


  • Graphic designer: Create logos, brochures, or social media content for businesses.
  • Writer: Offer content writing, blogging, or copywriting services.
  • Web developer: Build and maintain websites for clients.


How to get started: Set up a portfolio showcasing your skills and past work. Use platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, LinkedIn, or niche-specific platforms to find clients. Network within your industry and promote your services via social media, email, and calls.

Freelancing is a great way to start making money from home.



  • Etsy seller: Sell handmade crafts, vintage items, or printables.
  • Takealot seller: Use South Africa’s largest online retailer to sell various products.
  • Your own shop: Start your own online shop or open a shop at a market on the weekend.
  • Dropshipping: Start an online store without holding inventory, sourcing products from suppliers who ship directly to customers. Note, dropshipping is a lot harder than a lot of people present it to be.


How to get started: Research and choose the platform you want to sell on or a location if you’re going to sell in person. Plan your offer and budget for inventory. Then, set up a store. After that, learn more about marketing so you can attract more customers.


In-person services

  • Dog-walking: Offer pet walking and sitting services to busy pet owners.
  • Hairdresser: Provide mobile hair-cutting and styling services.
  • Personal trainer: Offer fitness coaching and workout sessions.


How to get started: Advertise your services in your local community through flyers, social media, and local classifieds. Facebook groups and Gumtree ads can be a good place to start. Get the necessary certifications and insurance if you need any. And offer free or discounted sessions to build a client base and hook your first customers.


Content marketing

  • Blogger: Write about topics you’re passionate about, post it online, and make money through ads, affiliate marketing, or by selling your own products. Remember, it helps if you understand topics like SEO and online distribution in general. People need to find the blog before you can make any money.
  • YouTuber: Create videos on various subjects and earn extra income through ad revenue.
  • Social media influencer: Build a following on platforms like Instagram or TikTok and collaborate with brands to get paid for sponsoring products or selling your own.


How to get started: Choose a niche you are passionate about. Create a content calendar and consistently post high-quality content. Engage with your audience and use marketing techniques to increase your reach.

For more ways to make money online, check out our post: 40 ways to start making money online in South Africa today


Struggling to keep up with your debt?

Our team can help make your debt affordable once again.

We help thousands of South Africans to reduce their monthly debt repayments, protect them from legal action, and keep their assets — our team can help you too.


Teaching and consulting

  • English teacher: Teach English online and earn via any of the popular TEFL companies.
  • Music teacher: Provide lessons for instruments or vocal coaching.
  • Academic tutor: Help students excel in subjects like maths, science, or languages.
  • Business consultant: Advise small businesses or startups based on your professional experience.


How to get started: Either sign-up for a teaching platform and get certified (if necessary), or advertise your services through local schools, community centres, and social media groups. You can offer trial lessons to attract students.


Delivery and transportation services

  • Food delivery: Deliver food for companies like Uber Eats, Mr D Food or one of SA’s big grocery store brands.
  • Ridesharing: Drive for platforms like Uber or Bolt.
  • Courier services: Offer local delivery services for businesses or individuals.


How to get started: Sign up with a delivery or ridesharing platform and ensure your vehicle meets their requirements. For courier services, network with local businesses and create flyers to advertise your services.


Creative arts and entertainment

  • Photographer: Offer photography services for events, portraits, or products.
  • Musician: Perform at local venues, events, or offer private lessons.
  • Craftsman: Create and sell custom artwork, jewellery, or home decor.


How to get started: Build a portfolio showcasing your work. Like an online portfolio website or an instagram page. Network with local businesses and event planners to find clients. You can also use social media to promote your services. Over time, if you’re good, you’ll start to get referrals, too.


Real estate and property management

  • Airbnb host: Rent out a room or property to travellers, or offer to help manage Airbnbs for others.
  • Property manager: Manage rental properties for landlords.
  • Real estate agent: Assist in buying, selling, or renting properties. You can even set up ‘shop’ as an individual broker or agent if you’re licensed.


How to get started: Do your homework. Research local laws and regulations for short-term rentals. If you have property, list it on platforms like Airbnb. For property management, network with property owners, get certified, and set up structured working times that do not clash with your main hustle..


Event planning and services

  • Event planner: Organise events such as weddings, parties, or corporate functions.
  • Catering service: Provide food and beverage services for events.
  • DJ, band, or MC: Add music and entertainment to events, corporate functions, or local bars and restaurants.


How to get started: The approach varies based on which service you’re planning to offer. But find a way to showcase your work and create a portfolio. Then, reach out to venues, vendors, and potential clients to build a client base. Use social media and local advertising to promote your services.


In summary

This is only the start of the journey. Now that you know what you can try, it’s time to go from idea to income.

There’ll likely be a lot that you need to learn along the way. And, your first side hustle may not be the one that you stick with. That’s OKAY.

Keep trying until you get something that works and build from there. Soon, you’ll be making extra cash, building your wealth, and investing in South Africa.

In the meantime, if you want to reduce your debt to free up some extra cash, talk to our tea at My Debt Hero—we can help.

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