Online Side Hustles

14 Best Side Hustles For Students in South Africa (R1800/Day)

14 Best Side Hustles For Students in South Africa (R1800/Day)

Side hustles have become incredibly popular in South Africa, especially among students looking to earn extra income.

But what exactly are side hustles, and how can they benefit you?

A side hustle is an additional job or small business venture that you take on in addition to your regular 9-5 employment or studies.

Side hustles for students in South Africa provide a way for people to make extra money outside of their primary income source.

They can range from online endeavors like selling products on an ecommerce site, all the way to local services like house cleaning or dog walking.

There are many great reasons to start a side hustle:

  • Earn extra cash – This is the #1 appeal of side hustles. They provide additional income that can help cover monthly expenses, save up for goals, or just have some extra spending money.
  • Gain new skills – Starting a side hustle often involves learning new skills related to sales, marketing, accounting, customer service and more. These can benefit your career.
  • Pursue a passion – Side hustles allow you to explore hobbies and interests that could potentially turn into a full-time business later on.
  • Achieve greater flexibility – Side hustles allow you to work on your own schedule, often from home. This flexibility can be a major perk.
  • Diversify income streams – Having multiple income sources can provide more security and stability, especially during tough economic times when a regular job may be at risk.

Starting and running a successful side hustle takes work, but it can be an incredibly rewarding endeavor.

This guide will explore the most popular and profitable side hustles that deliver daily earnings – perfect for South African students seeking to make extra money.

Popular Online Side Hustles For Students in South Africa

The internet has enabled a whole new world of side hustle opportunities that can allow you to earn daily income.

Online side hustles provide a flexible way to make money from home for students in South Africa while still focusing on your regular studies and commitments.

Here are some of the best online side hustle options for students in South Africa:

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing involves creating blog posts, articles, copy and other written content for clients on a contract basis.

There is high demand for quality writers who can research topics and craft compelling content tailored to a brand’s audience and goals.


  • Work from anywhere with an internet connection
  • Choose your own hours and workload
  • Wide variety of writing niches to explore like marketing, tech, health, etc.
  • Ability to get paid per piece or per hour

Getting Started:

  • Build a portfolio of sample writing pieces to showcase your skills
  • Create profiles on freelance sites like Fiverr and Upwork
  • Reach out to individual brands and small businesses directly to offer your services
  • Specialize in a niche you’re knowledgeable about like finance or travel

With consistency and gradually increasing your rates, freelance writing can become a lucrative side hustle earning over R500 per day.

Selling Goods Online

Platforms like Shopify, Etsy, Takealot Marketplace and more enable anyone to start selling products online without needing to build and host your own ecommerce site.

You can sell handmade crafts and artwork, vintage goods, print-on-demand products and more.


  • Low startup costs to open your online store
  • Ability to reach a global audience of buyers
  • Tools provided to organize inventory, process payments, calculate shipping
  • Flexible schedule since you don’t need to staff a physical store

Getting Started:

  • Research in-demand product niches and competition
  • Set up your online shop and payment processing
  • Create product listings with excellent photos and descriptions
  • Promote your products on social media and via online ads
  • Coordinate product sourcing, shipping and order fulfillment

Successful online sellers can earn over R1,000 per day in profits after costs of goods sold. It takes consistent effort but can grow into a sizable business.

Virtual Assistance

Virtual assistants (VAs) provide administrative, technical and creative services to clients remotely. Typical tasks include customer service, email management, data entry, research, scheduling and more.

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  • No need for significant startup costs
  • Ability to serve clients worldwide
  • Gain experience in many aspects of business operations
  • Control your schedule and workload

Getting Started:

  • Determine the types of services you want to offer
  • Build a website showcasing your VA services
  • Offer discounted rates initially to get first clients
  • Join VA communities to find job opportunities
  • Expand your services and rates over time

VAs can potentially earn R500-R800 per day or even more depending on the types of services provided and hours worked.

Graphic Design

Freelance graphic design involves creating logos, branding materials, illustrations, marketing assets and more for clients. This side hustle leverages creativity and visual communication skills.


  • Flexible schedule and ability to work remotely
  • Great business for visual creatives
  • Potential to build a strong portfolio of work
  • Ongoing demand as businesses need graphic design work

Getting Started:

  • Have samples of your best design work to show clients
  • Build an online portfolio website showcasing your work and services
  • Offer discounted rates to first clients to get testimonials
  • Reach out to small businesses who need affordable design help

Freelance designers typically charge R250-R500 per hour or per project. Logo design, branding boards and marketing materials are commonly requested projects.

Online side hustles are an excellent way for students in South Africa to start earning income in a flexible, location-independent way.

With hard work and persistence, they can become quite lucrative. The opportunities are endless!

Popular Offline Side Hustles For Students in South Africa

Although the online world offers many compelling side hustle options for students in South Africa, there are also plenty of profitable ways to make money from side hustles for students in South Africa based in the offline world.

These “old school” local business models may require more hands-on effort but can be quite lucrative.

Here are some top offline side hustle ideas for students in South Africa:

Tutoring and Coaching

Offering private tutoring, coaching or training in academic subjects, sports, arts or other skill areas leverages your existing knowledge into an income source. You set your own rates and schedule sessions at your convenience.


  • Earn up to R250-R400 per hour of sessions
  • Help others grow their skills and knowledge
  • Set your own schedule with flexible hours
  • Leverage expertise you already have

Getting Started:

  • Determine the subjects and skills you want to teach
  • Create marketing materials like flyers to promote your services
  • Reach out to parents at schools and community centers
  • Offer introductory discounted sessions to get new students

With a full schedule, tutors can easily earn R500-R1,000 extra per week while setting their own hours. This is a great side hustle for students with academic strengths.

Handyman Services

Offering handyman services like home repairs, furniture assembly, yardwork and more leverages your practical skills to help people in your community. You can provide these services on your schedule.


  • Earn up to R200-R400 per hour
  • Gain hands-on skills and experience
  • Flexible schedule based on your availability
  • Build relationships and referral networks

Getting Started:

  • Determine types of services you can provide based on your skills
  • Print flyers and post online listings advertising your services
  • Offer promotions to get your first clients
  • Gather equipment and materials needed for each job

Handymen capable of doing repairs, installations and other basic home projects can earn R500-R1,500 per week depending on clients and hours. It is very scalable over time.

Selling Homemade Goods

Baking, arts and crafts, jewelry making and more creative pursuits can become side hustles by selling your homemade goods locally. You can sell at markets, pop-up shops, online or via custom orders.


  • Earn profits of R200-R500 per item sold
  • Pursue a passion project and creative outlet
  • Set your own production timeline and workload
  • Gain business skills in pricing, marketing, etc.

Getting Started:

  • Test demand by getting initial feedback on your products
  • Research costs of supplies and determine pricing
  • Create brand and packaging for your goods
  • Sell at local markets or pop-ups to raise awareness

By consistently producing and selling quality homemade goods, you can realistically earn over R1,000 extra per week as your customer base grows.

Offline side hustles leverage your existing skills and interests to earn money while sticking close to home. They can work well with any busy schedule.

Side Hustles For Students With Daily Payouts in South Africa

One major benefit of a side hustle is the ability to earn money daily or at least weekly, compared to a traditional monthly paycheck.

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This steady stream of side income helps cover immediate expenses.

Here are some of the top side hustle ideas that can generate daily or frequent payouts for students:

Rideshare Driving

Driving for a rideshare company like Uber, Bolt or InDriver enables you to earn cash daily by providing rides whenever you have free time. You use your own vehicle and set your own schedule.


  • Earn average of R100-R200 per hour
  • Instant payouts after each driving session
  • No set schedule – drive whenever you want
  • Meet new people and explore your city

Getting Started:

  • Ensure your vehicle qualifies for the rideshare company requirements
  • Pass a background check and vehicle inspection
  • Download the rideshare driver app and set up your profile
  • Consider rental options if you don’t have a qualifying vehicle

Rideshare driving provides complete flexibility and the ability to earn money at any time throughout the week.

A few hours per day can mean R500-R1,000+ in extra weekly earnings.

Food Delivery

Apps like Mr D, Uber Eats and Bolt Food enable students to earn money daily by picking up and delivering food orders from local restaurants.

You use your own mode of transportation like a car, scooter or bicycle.


  • Earn average of R50-R100 per delivery
  • No set schedule – choose your own delivery windows
  • Earn cash rewards through referral bonuses
  • Explore new restaurants around your city

Getting Started:

  • Download the food delivery app and set up your profile
  • Pass any required background checks
  • Familiarize yourself with the app and pickup/dropoff process
  • Consider getting insulated food delivery bags

Delivering just a few orders per day can mean R300-R600 in extra weekly income. The flexibility makes this an easy side hustle to fit around studies.

Amazon Flex

Students with extra time and a vehicle can earn great money by delivering Amazon packages through the Amazon Flex program.

You pick up packages from an Amazon location and deliver within a specified timeframe.


  • Earn average of R100-R140 per hour
  • Set your own availability for package blocks
  • Gain exposure to how a delivery business operates
  • Help get packages to Amazon customers quickly

Getting Started:

  • Submit an application to become an Amazon Flex driver
  • Pass the background check and vehicle inspection
  • Install the Amazon Flex app to claim available shifts
  • Ensure you meet the delivery window for each block

With Amazon’s constant need for delivery help, dedicating just a few hours a day can mean R500 or much more in daily earnings.

The appeal of these popular side hustles for students in South Africa is the ability to work and earn as much or as little as your schedule allows. They provide quick payouts that can help cover daily costs.

Best Side Hustles For Students in South Africa

Given their busy schedules with classes, studying and other commitments, students have unique needs when choosing a side hustle.

They benefit most from flexible opportunities that provide decent pay without demanding too many hours.

Based on those criteria, here are some of the best side hustle options specifically for students:

Online Tutoring

Tutoring students online in South Africa in academic subjects like math, science, English, history and more is a great way to earn solid money while setting your own hours.

Sites like and Chegg Tutors enable you to teach students worldwide.


  • Earn R100-R250 per hour of tutoring sessions
  • Sharpen your own knowledge of academic subjects
  • Choose your own schedule week to week
  • Gain valuable teaching experience

Getting Started:

  • Apply to tutor with reputable tutoring platforms
  • Pass any required skills assessments or background checks
  • Set your availability and grade/subject preferences
  • Promote your services and build student ratings

With just 5-10 hours a week, online tutoring can bring in R500-R2,500+ in extra monthly income. Very flexible for any busy student.

Freelance Writing for students in South Africa

Leveraging strong writing skills to work remotely as a freelance writer involves creating blog posts, articles, social media posts, school papers and more for clients. No need to meet face to face.


  • Earn average of R250-R500 per hour
  • Gain professional writing experience
  • Choose your own workload and set your schedule
  • Work from your laptop anywhere

Getting Started:

  • Build a portfolio of writing samples from schoolwork or personal blogs
  • Create profiles on sites like Fiverr and Freelancer to find clients
  • Reach out to small companies directly to pitch writing services
  • Consider specializing in industries like wellness, tech, or business.
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With 5-15 hours per week, diligent freelance writers can make R2,500-R5,000 monthly. Very doable around class schedules.

Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants help clients with administrative, research, technical and creative project support fully remotely. Common tasks include data entry, email management, transcription and more.


  • Earn R150-R300 per hour
  • Gain exposure to various industries
  • Enjoy a flexible remote work schedule
  • Build your skills in business operations

Getting Started:

  • Determine the types of support services you want to offer
  • Create profiles on sites like Fiverr and Upwork
  • Reach out to small businesses directly to offer VA services
  • Consider specializing in a niche like social media or email marketing

Working 10-25 hours per week as a VA can bring in R2,500-R6,000+ in great side income each month. Very compatible for students.

App or Website Testing

Companies frequently hire remote workers to test their apps, games and websites for bugs, glitches and errors before launch. As a tester, you explore the product and document any technical issues.


  • Earn R150-R250 per hour testing
  • Gain exposure to software development
  • Flexible schedule – test whenever you have availability
  • Work completely remotely

Getting Started:

  • Apply to work with companies like Testbirds, UserTesting and TryMyUI
  • Download apps to test on your own device
  • Follow test instructions fully to identify issues
  • Provide clear, detailed reports on any bugs found

Testing for just 5-10 hours per week can mean R800-R2,500 in easy extra monthly income.

The beauty of these side hustles for students is that they provide great earnings while working flexibly around your academic schedule and commitments. They build valuable skills too!

Managing Your Side Hustle

Once you’ve started your profitable side hustle as a student in South Africa, it’s crucial to implement strong business management practices so your venture remains organized, financially sound and personally sustainable.

Managing a hustle while still in school is all about working smarter, not harder.

Here are some tips to keep your side hustle thriving:

Create a Clear Schedule

  • Block out specific times each week when you will dedicate focused hours to hustle work. Treat this time as seriously as you would a class or test.
  • Use a calendar to schedule those working sessions, just as you would schedule study sessions and other commitments.
  • Let family and friends know that your blocked off time is reserved for hustle work to avoid distractions.

Track Finances Diligently

  • Use an app or spreadsheet to carefully track income and expenses, no matter how small your hustle may be. Every Rand counts.
  • Save 30-50% of each payment you receive to have funds available for taxes, reinvesting in the business and personal savings

Here is the continuation of the article:

  • Record all business expenses like equipment, ads or supplies purchased. Track mileage for driving-related hustles.
  • Review the income and expense reports monthly to understand your profitability and make any needed adjustments.

Follow Legal and Tax Requirements

  • Consult experts to understand all legal and tax obligations related to your side hustle’s industry. This avoids trouble down the road.
  • Document payments carefully in case tax authorities request proof of income earned.
  • If required, register as a sole proprietor and submit any necessary license or permit applications.
  • File and pay taxes quarterly on your side hustle income using SARS eFiling or an accountant. Stay current to avoid interest and penalties.

Maintain Life Balance

  • Check in with yourself often and assess if your hustle hours are cutting too much into study time or personal obligations. Recalibrate as needed.
  • Set firm boundaries around “off hours” where you step away from the hustle completely to recharge and refresh. Prevent burnout.
  • Outsource tasks when possible to reduce workload, even if it means smaller profit margins. Your sanity comes first.

Proper planning, recordkeeping and self-care will help ensure your side hustle remains a rewarding and sustainable endeavor for years. Don’t let the hustle negatively impact academics.

Key Takeaways

  • Popular online side hustles for students in South Africa include freelance writing, virtual assistance, selling goods online and graphic design. They allow location flexibility but require diligent effort.
  • Offline side hustle for students in South Africa options like tutoring, handyman services and selling homemade goods also hold great potential for students able to work locally.
  • Driving for rideshares, food delivery and package delivery offer daily payout potential, perfect for near-term income needs.
  • Tutoring, freelance writing and virtual assistance work well with student schedules if you block out dedicated weekly hours.
  • Carefully track income and expenses, follow legal/tax rules, and maintain life balance to sustainably manage your side hustle amidst studies.

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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]
X: @freelancian

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