Online Side Hustles

How To Make Money While Unemployed In South Africa

How To Make Money While Unemployed In South Africa

Being unemployed doesn’t mean you can’t generate income in South Africa. In this guide, we will explore different ways you can make money while unemployed in the country.

Key Takeaways:

  • Applying for social grants can provide financial support while unemployed.
  • Selling unwanted goods is a viable option to generate income.
  • Consider side hustles and freelance jobs as income-generating opportunities.
  • Explore online income opportunities to make money while unemployed.
  • Part-time work and microtasks can offer additional income streams.

There are several ways to make money while unemployed in South Africa. Some options include applying for social grants, selling unwanted goods, offering child care services, considering ride-sharing or delivery jobs, cashing in on waste, baking and selling treats, renting out extra space, doing part-time work, and taking online surveys or completing microtasks. Additionally, freelancing, online tutoring, and content creation can also provide opportunities for earning money. It’s important to evaluate each option carefully and consider personal skills and interests.

Applying for Social Grants

One option to consider when you are unemployed in South Africa is applying for social grants, which can provide much-needed financial support during this time. Social grants are government assistance programs designed to help individuals and families who are in need of financial assistance. These grants are available to citizens who meet specific eligibility criteria, and they can provide a source of income while you search for employment.

There are different types of social grants available in South Africa, including the Child Support Grant, the Older Persons Grant, and the Disability Grant, among others. Each grant has its own requirements, so it’s important to research and determine which ones you may be eligible for. Once you have identified the grants that apply to your situation, you can begin the application process.

It’s important to note that the application process for social grants can sometimes be lengthy and require documentation to prove your eligibility. However, if approved, these grants can provide a steady income while you are unemployed. If you are unsure about the application process or need assistance, you can visit your nearest South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) office for guidance and support.

Types of Social GrantsEligibility Criteria
Child Support Grant– Caregivers of children under the age of 18
– Meet income requirements
Older Persons Grant– South African citizens 60 years and older
– Meet income requirements
Disability Grant– Individuals with disabilities
– Meet income requirements

Applying for social grants can provide a financial safety net while you are unemployed in South Africa. It’s important to explore all available options and determine which grants you may be eligible for. Remember to gather all necessary documentation and seek guidance if needed. Social grants can help alleviate financial stress and provide a source of income during this challenging time.

Selling Unwanted Goods

If you have unwanted items lying around, selling them can be a great way to make some extra cash while you’re unemployed in South Africa. Not only does it help declutter your space, but it also provides an opportunity to turn unused belongings into money.

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To get started, take inventory of the items you no longer need or want. This can include anything from clothing and accessories to electronics, furniture, and household items. Consider their condition and market value to set a reasonable price. You can sell your unwanted goods through various channels, both online and offline.

Online Platforms

Online platforms such as classified ads websites, social media marketplaces, and online auction sites are popular choices for selling unwanted goods. These platforms allow you to reach a wide audience and provide the convenience of selling from the comfort of your home. Be sure to take clear photos of your items and write detailed descriptions to attract potential buyers. Some popular online platforms in South Africa include Gumtree, OLX, Facebook Marketplace, and Bid or Buy.

Offline Selling

If you prefer face-to-face interactions, offline selling options are also available. You can organize a garage sale or rent a stall at a local flea market or craft fair to showcase your items. This allows you to engage directly with customers, negotiate prices, and potentially build connections in your community. Keep in mind that offline selling may require more effort in terms of setting up a physical space and advertising your sale.

Online PlatformsWide audience reach, convenience of selling from homePotential competition, shipping or delivery logistics
Offline SellingDirect engagement with customers, potential community connectionsMore effort in setting up a physical space, advertising

“Selling unwanted goods not only helps you make money while unemployed in South Africa but also allows you to declutter your space and potentially build connections in your community.”

Remember, the key to successful selling is pricing your items competitively, providing accurate information, and delivering excellent customer service. By tapping into the market demand for second-hand items, you can turn your unwanted goods into a valuable source of income while unemployed in South Africa.

Side Hustles and Freelance Jobs

Exploring side hustles and freelance jobs can be a viable way to earn money during unemployment in South Africa. These opportunities provide flexibility and the potential to earn income based on your skills and interests. Whether you have a specific talent or a general skill set, there are various options available that can suit your capabilities.

One option is to offer your services as a freelancer in your area of expertise. This could include graphic design, writing, web development, or social media management. Freelancing platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr can connect you with potential clients and help you build your portfolio. By showcasing your skills and delivering quality work, you can establish a reputation and attract more clients over time.

Table: Popular Freelance Job Categories

Writing and EditingProviding content creation, proofreading, and editing services.
Graphic DesignCreating visual assets such as logos, banners, and illustrations.
Web DevelopmentBuilding and maintaining websites and web applications.
Virtual AssistanceProviding administrative support and managing tasks remotely.

If you don’t have a specific skill set, you can still explore side hustles that require minimal training or investment. This could include tasks like participating in online surveys, completing microtasks on platforms like Amazon Mechanical Turk, or offering services such as pet sitting, house cleaning, or gardening. These side hustles can help you earn extra income while utilizing your available time and resources.

Remember, when considering side hustles and freelance jobs, it’s important to evaluate each opportunity carefully. Consider the demand for your skills, the competition in the market, and the potential earnings. Also, take into account your own interests and passion so that you can find enjoyment in the work you do and stay motivated.

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Online Income Opportunities

The internet offers numerous income-generating opportunities for the unemployed in South Africa, providing a platform to earn money from the comfort of your own home. Whether you have technical skills, creativity, or a knack for connecting with people, there are various ways you can leverage the internet to generate income.

Sell Handmade Products Online

If you have a talent for crafting or creating handmade products, you can sell them online through platforms such as Etsy or Facebook Marketplace. Set up an online store, showcase your unique creations, and reach a wider audience beyond your local community. From handmade jewelry to custom artwork, the possibilities are endless.

Take Online Surveys and Complete Microtasks

Companies are willing to pay for consumer opinions and small tasks. Sign up for reputable online survey sites like Toluna or Swagbucks, where you can earn money by sharing your thoughts and completing surveys. Additionally, platforms like Amazon Mechanical Turk offer microtasks that you can complete in your spare time for some extra cash.

TolunaAn online survey platform that rewards you for sharing your opinion on various topics.
SwagbucksEarn rewards and money by completing surveys, watching videos, and shopping online.
Amazon Mechanical TurkComplete small tasks, known as HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks), for a small payment.

Become a Freelancer or Offer Online Services

If you have marketable skills like writing, graphic design, web development, or social media management, consider freelancing or offering your services online. Platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr connect freelancers with clients from around the world, allowing you to showcase your skills and secure paid projects.

Remember, finding success in online income opportunities requires dedication, professionalism, and a willingness to adapt. Keep exploring different avenues, honing your skills, and networking with others in your chosen field to maximize your earning potential. The internet has opened up a world of possibilities, so embrace the digital age and start generating income while unemployed in South Africa.

Part-Time Work and Microtasks

Taking on part-time work or engaging in microtasks can be a practical approach to earn money when you’re unemployed in South Africa. Not only can it help you generate some income, but it can also offer the flexibility to balance other responsibilities or pursue job opportunities.

When it comes to part-time work, you have various options to explore. Consider offering your services as a virtual assistant, data entry operator, or customer service representative. Platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr can connect you with potential clients seeking short-term assignments or temporary help.

If you have specific skills or expertise, freelancing can be a lucrative avenue. Fields like graphic design, writing, photography, web development, and social media management are in high demand. Create a portfolio and market your services on freelancing platforms or reach out to local businesses that may require your expertise.

Microtasks are small online tasks that can be completed quickly and typically pay a small amount. These tasks can range from data labeling and image annotation to online surveys and transcription work. Websites like Amazon Mechanical Turk and Clickworker provide opportunities for individuals to earn money by completing these microtasks.

Part-Time WorkMicrotasks
  • Virtual assistant
  • Data entry operator
  • Customer service representative
  • Short-term assignments
  • Data labeling
  • Image annotation
  • Online surveys
  • Transcription work

Remember, part-time work and microtasks can supplement your income, but it’s important to assess the earning potential, time commitment, and availability of such opportunities. Evaluate your skills, interests, and the demands of the market to make informed decisions. With determination and resourcefulness, you can find ways to make money while unemployed in South Africa.

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Making money while unemployed in South Africa is possible with careful consideration of various income-generating opportunities. By assessing your skills and interests, you can find the right path to financial independence.

There are several ways to generate income in South Africa during unemployment. One option is applying for social grants, which can provide financial support. Another option is selling unwanted goods, whether through online platforms or local markets. Additionally, offering child care services or considering ride-sharing or delivery jobs can be viable options.

Cashing in on waste, baking and selling treats, or renting out extra space are also potential money-making strategies. Furthermore, part-time work and taking online surveys or completing microtasks can provide additional income. Freelancing, online tutoring, and content creation are other avenues to explore for earning money.

It’s important to evaluate each option carefully and consider your personal skills and interests. By doing so, you can find the methods that align with your abilities and passions, increasing your chances of success. Remember, making money while unemployed in South Africa is not only about financial gain but also about utilizing your talents and creating opportunities for future growth.


Q: What are some ways to make money while unemployed in South Africa?

A: There are several options to consider. You can apply for social grants, sell unwanted goods, offer child care services, consider ride-sharing or delivery jobs, cash in on waste, bake and sell treats, rent out extra space, do part-time work, or take online surveys or complete microtasks. Additionally, freelancing, online tutoring, and content creation can also provide opportunities for earning money.

Q: How can I apply for social grants while unemployed?

A: To apply for social grants in South Africa, you will need to visit your nearest South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) office. They will provide you with the necessary forms and guide you through the application process. Make sure to bring all the required documents, such as your ID, proof of unemployment, and bank details.

Q: What are some tips for selling unwanted goods to make money?

A: When selling unwanted goods, start by decluttering your home and identifying items that are still in good condition. Take clear photos of the items and list them for sale on online platforms like Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace. Price your items competitively and be responsive to potential buyers. Consider hosting a garage sale or participating in local flea markets to reach a wider audience.

Q: How can I find side hustles or freelance jobs to generate income?

A: There are various online platforms, such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr, where you can find freelance job opportunities. You can also consider offering your services directly to individuals or businesses in your community. Determine your skills and interests, and market yourself accordingly. Networking and building a strong online presence can also help attract potential clients.

Q: What online income opportunities are available for the unemployed in South Africa?

A: Online income opportunities include freelancing, online tutoring, content creation on platforms like YouTube or TikTok, blogging, affiliate marketing, and participating in online surveys or completing microtasks on websites like Swagbucks or Amazon Mechanical Turk. Choose opportunities that align with your skills and interests.

Q: How can I find part-time work or microtasks to earn money?

A: Look for part-time job listings on online job portals, local classifieds, or community bulletin boards. You can also consider signing up on websites like TaskRabbit or Airtasker, where you can find various microtasks and gig opportunities. Networking within your community and exploring local businesses can also lead to part-time job opportunities.

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About the author

Kevin is a location independent freelancer, blogger, and side hustler located in South Africa. Originally from Kenya, he worked as a digital marketing developer for 5 years before making the leap to full-time freelancing.

Kevin has been featured in publications like Entrepreneur Magazine and The South African for his work promoting freelancing and side hustles in South Africa. When he's not working with clients or updating Freelancian, you can find him exploring new destinations as a digital nomad.

Want to share your own freelancing or side hustle story? Have a question for Kevin? Just want to say hello? You can contact Kevin and the Freelancian team at:

Email: [email protected]
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