Online Side Hustles

#11 Best Ways To Make Money In South Africa As A Student

#11 Best Ways To Make Money In South Africa As A Student

Making money as a student in South Africa can be challenging, but there are plenty of ways to earn some extra cash if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.

Having a part-time income while studying can help cover basic living expenses, allow you to be more independent, and teach valuable skills that will benefit your future career.

In this blog post, we will explore the top 11 ways South African students can make money while in school.

From online selling to tutoring, read on for tips and ideas to boost your bank account balance!

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Sell items online

Selling unused or handmade items online is one of the easiest ways for students to make money in South Africa.

Popular online marketplaces like Bidorbuy, OLX, and Facebook Marketplace make it simple to list your items for sale. Consider selling:

  • Used textbooks and class materials – Resell old textbooks, class notes, etc. to younger students once you’ve completed a course. You can easily make back half of what you originally paid.
  • Clothing and accessories – Sell any gently used or new clothes, shoes, jewelry, handbags, etc. that you no longer wear. Clothing sells particularly well online.
  • Handmade crafts or artwork – Get crafty and sell homemade jewelry, decor, knit scarves, artwork, etc. This is a great way to earn money from a hobby.
  • Event tickets – Resell any tickets to concerts, sports games, festivals, etc. that you can no longer attend. The extra fees are profit.
  • Electronics – Used laptops, tablets, gaming consoles, cameras, etc. in working condition can bring in good money.

The key is to price items competitively and advertise them well with photos and descriptions.

Pay close attention to shipping costs when listing to ensure you still make a decent profit after mailing an item.

Become a tutor

Offering tutoring services related to your area of study is a prime money-maker for university students in South Africa. You can easily charge R100-R250 per hour for private tutoring, especially leading up to exams.

Subjects often in high demand for tutoring include:

  • Math (Calculus, Statistics, Algebra, etc.)
  • Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Business and Economics
  • Languages (English, Afrikaans, French, etc.)
  • Computer Science and Programming

Register as a tutor on sites like Varsity Tutors and Superprof to connect with students seeking assistance.

You can offer both in-person and online tutoring. Create flyers with your service details and availability to post around campus too.

When tutoring:

  • Hold sessions in a quiet, public place like the library
  • Structure lessons and bring learning aids
  • Be patient and engage the student
  • Provide practice tests and materials
  • Give feedback on progress

With some effort, tutoring can become a steady source of part-time income as a student. You sharpen your own knowledge while getting paid.

Get a part-time job

Getting a part-time job is the traditional way students in South Africa make money during school.

While it takes more of a time commitment than gigs like tutoring or online selling, part-time jobs can be quite lucrative. Plus you gain formal work experience.

Popular part-time jobs for students include:

  • Retail – Stores, coffee shops, and restaurants frequently hire students. Flexible evening and weekend shifts are often available. Gain customer service and sales skills.
  • Admin/clerical work – Admin assistant, data entry, bookkeeping, and reception roles require just basic computer abilities. Get experience in an office environment.
  • Promotional work – Become a brand ambassador handing out product samples or flyers at stores and events. Outgoing personality required!
  • Writing/editing – Use your academic writing skills to make money freelance writing, editing, transcribing audio, etc. online.
  • Childcare – Babysit kids or tutor young students after school or on weekends. Must be responsible and patient.
  • Delivery driving – Apps like Uber Eats and Mr D let you earn money flexibly delivering food in your own car. Must have valid driver’s license.

Seek part-time jobs that work with your class schedule and interests to earn a steady paycheck during school.

Participate in surveys

In the digital age, an easy way for tech-savvy students to earn extra money in South Africa is by completing online surveys in their spare time.

There are a variety of websites and apps that pay users to share their opinions on products, services, ads, and more. Here are some tips for making money from surveys:

  • Register on survey sites like Ipsos, Toluna, Opinion Outpost, etc. Provide accurate demographic info to qualify for surveys.
  • Check survey sites daily and answer screening questions to match with high-paying surveys.
  • Cash out earnings promptly when thresholds are met (typically ~R50-R100). Redeem gift vouchers or get paid via PayPal.
  • Never pay upfront for “work opportunities” or give your bank details. Legit surveys are free to join.
  • Complete profile questions thoughtfully to qualify for more and higher-paying surveys.
  • Be honest when answering survey questions to ensure you remain eligible.
  • Take note of minimum time requirements before accepting surveys to avoid disqualification.

Online surveys likely won’t make you rich, but they can easily earn you some spare cash in your downtime as a student.

Those R20-50 payments add up over time!

Become a brand ambassador

An exciting way for outgoing students to make money in South Africa is by becoming a brand ambassador or product promoter for major companies.

Brands frequently hire university students to help hype up their products/services on campus through guerilla marketing campaigns. As a brand ambassador, your duties may include:

  • Handing out free product samples on campus
  • Putting up posters and flyers for the brand
  • Engaging with students to promote the product
  • Running competitions, games, and giveaways
  • Representing the brand at campus events

Popular companies hiring student brand ambassadors include:

  • Red Bull – Hands out cans of Red Bull and organizes extreme sports events.
  • Coca-Cola – Promotes Coke products and helps with competitions and prizes.
  • Cell C – Markets Cell C sim cards and mobile plans/deals.
  • Totalsports – Creates excitement around Totalsports stores and athletic gear.

This is a fun way to earn good money with a flexible schedule. Be bold, friendly, and enthusiastic about the brand to succeed as an ambassador.

Time management and marketing skills are also key.

Start freelancing

Freelancing online in your spare time is a great way for university students in South Africa to earn an income. There are endless freelance opportunities these days in areas like:

  • Writing – Become an academic essay writer, SEO content writer, copywriter, freelance journalist, etc.
  • Design – Do graphic design, web design, UI/UX design, illustration, branding, etc.
  • Programming – Develop apps, websites, software, computer scripts, tech solutions.
  • Video/Animation – Provide video editing, animation, motion graphics, explainer videos, etc.
  • Translation – Offer document, website, app translation services between languages.
  • Data Entry – Input, organize, and audit data for companies.
  • Virtual Assistance – Schedule calls, manage email, process orders, and other admin tasks.

Join freelance websites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer to connect with clients worldwide seeking services in your skillset. Build up a portfolio and reviews to stand out. Set your own rates and hours.

Freelancing lets students turn their studies into paid work they can do remotely anywhere, anytime. Strong time management is key to balance studies and freelance gigs.

Offer photography services

Leveraging photography skills and equipment is a great way for students to make money freelancing in South Africa. You can offer services like:

  • Headshots – Take professional profile pics for students’ LinkedIn and job applications.
  • Event photography – Photograph campus events, parties, conferences, and more.
  • Product photography – Take attractive still life shots of products for online businesses.
  • Stock photos – Build a portfolio of high-quality campus life images and sell online.
  • Photo editing – Offer editing services like retouching, filters, cropping, etc.

Market your photography services on campus through posters and social media. Reach out to event/club organizers about being their photographer.

Build a portfolio website to attract clients.

You can charge per hour or per photo. Equipment like DSLR cameras, lighting, backdrops, and editing software will produce the best results. Running photo contests and giveaways also helps attract clients.

Turn your artistic eye into profits as a student photographer in your free time!

Become an academic writer

Excellent writing and research skills can be monetized by university students through academic writing gigs.

This involves creating original papers, essays, theses, and dissertations for others, on a freelance basis.

There is high demand for quality academic writing help, especially from international students and busy professionals.

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Academic writers can make $10-25 per page, with longer projects earning even more.

Useful tips:

  • Promote your writing services on campus bulletin boards and online job boards.
  • Set per page/word rates based on academic level (high school, undergrad, masters, PhD).
  • Never plagiarize – always write 100% original papers.
  • Clearly agree on requirements like length, topic, citations format, and deadline.
  • Only accept projects you have the knowledge and skills to complete.
  • Build a portfolio of written academic samples to showcase your skills.

With top-notch writing, research, editing, and time management abilities, skilled students can make great money as academic writers online.

Resell event tickets

Snagging tickets to popular concerts, shows, sports events, and festivals in demand and then reselling them for a profit is a lucrative way for entrepreneurial students to make money in South Africa.

Useful tips for reselling event tickets include:

  • Use social media to source tickets people are looking to offload below face value.
  • Monitor pre-sale events and fan clubs to buy tickets the moment they are released.
  • Purchase tickets to high-demand events expected to sell out months in advance.
  • List the tickets on resale sites like Viagogo and Ticketpro as soon as event details are announced.
  • Price tickets above face value – add about 20-30% markup or more.
  • Resell spare tickets you or friends can no longer use.
  • Make sure to transfer tickets safely and legally via official resale platforms.
  • Provide proof of purchase and registration details to establish legitimacy as a reseller.

Timing and demand are everything when reselling event tickets.

Avoid buying speculatively – stick to events likely to sell out for maximum profit potential.

Rent out parking space

For students in South Africa living close to popular venues and destinations, renting out parking on their property is an easy way to profit.

With events, games, shows, and more back at full capacity post-pandemic, parking spots are in high demand again.

Tips for renting out parking include:

  • List your parking spot availability on apps like Kerb and Quicket when nearby major events are scheduled.
  • Offer overnight and multi-day parking for ~R50-R100/day. Even higher for premium spots.
  • Provide details like photos, dimensions, ease of access, and driveway surfaces.
  • Meet parkers to exchange keys and payments. Remain available by phone.
  • Set clear rules on timings, property access, liability, etc.
  • Ensure your home insurance covers renting out parking to avoid issues.
  • Give renters useful directions, maps, and parking tips in advance.

With the right property and some planning, this hands-off approach can deliver easy earnings for students through leveraging an unused asset – space!

Teach music lessons

Students with musical talents like singing, piano, guitar, violin, drums etc. can generate income by teaching music lessons to kids and adults seeking to learn.

This is a fun and flexible way to share your expertise while getting paid.

Tips for starting music lessons as a student include:

  • Decide if you’ll teach at your home, students’ homes, or online via video chat. In-person allows coaching.
  • Determine lesson rates – around R150-R200 per hour is typical.
  • Advertise your services through local music shops, community centers, campus posters, social media.
  • Build a website showcasing your skills and achievements to attract students.
  • Design lesson plans tailored to each student’s ability level and musical interests.
  • Teach foundational skills like reading music, instrument technique, rhythm, and more.
  • Organize recitals to showcase students’ progress.
  • Be encouraging and patient – learning music takes practice!

Leverage your musical abilities to earn extra income teaching others while also growing your own skills and confidence as a musician.

Best side hustle ideas for students in South Africa

Side HustleSkills RequiredPotential Earnings
Hairdressing ServicesHairstyling skillsVaries; average R200 – R500 per session
Freelance Writing and CopywritingExcellent writing skillsVaries; average R500 – R1,000 per article
YouTuber and Content CreatorCreativity and video editing skillsPotential to earn through ads and sponsorships
Website and App TestingAttention to detail and tech-savvinessVaries; average R100 – R200 per test
Voice-Over WorkClear and captivating voiceVaries; average R500 – R1,500 per project

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

Online hustles:

  • Freelance writing or editing: If you have a knack for words, you can offer your writing or editing services on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer. There are many businesses and individuals looking for freelance content creators.
  • Social media management: Many businesses don’t have the time or resources to manage their social media accounts effectively. You can offer your services to help them create and share content, engage with followers, and run ads.
  • Virtual assistant: As a virtual assistant, you can provide administrative, technical, or creative support to clients remotely. This could include tasks like scheduling appointments, managing emails, creating presentations, or booking travel.
  • Data entry: Data entry is a flexible side hustle that you can do from anywhere. There are many websites and companies that offer data entry jobs, and the pay can vary depending on the complexity of the task.
  • Online tutoring: If you’re good at a particular subject, you can offer your tutoring services online to students around the world. Platforms like Chegg and TutorMe connect students with tutors.
  • Sell crafts or artwork: If you’re creative, you can sell your crafts or artwork online on platforms like Etsy or through social media.
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Offline hustles:

  • Tutoring: You can also offer your tutoring services in person to students in your community. This is a great way to connect with people and make some extra money.
  • Babysitting or pet sitting: If you’re responsible and love being around kids or pets, you can offer your babysitting or pet sitting services to families in your neighborhood.
  • Dog walking: Dog walkers are in high demand in many areas. You can offer your services to walk dogs individually or in groups.
  • Car washing: This is a classic side hustle that can be very profitable, especially if you live in a busy area. You can offer your car washing services at people’s homes or at a car wash.
  • Sell baked goods or crafts at markets: If you enjoy baking or making crafts, you can sell your creations at local markets. This is a great way to get your products in front of potential customers and make some extra money.

Other ideas:

  • Participate in paid online surveys: There are a number of websites that offer paid online surveys. While the pay is usually not very high, it can be a good way to make some extra money in your spare time.
  • Rent out a spare room or your parking space: If you have a spare room or parking space that you’re not using, you can rent it out on platforms like Airbnb or ParkOn.
  • Sell your old clothes or belongings: Declutter your closet and make some extra cash by selling your old clothes or belongings online or at a consignment shop.

Remember:

  • The best side hustle for you will depend on your skills, interests, and available time.
  • It’s important to do your research before starting any side hustle. Make sure you understand the time commitment, costs involved, and potential risks.
  • Be sure to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

How to make money while in high school in South Africa

In South Africa, there are several options for high school students to make money, some with legal restrictions due to your age. Here are some ideas categorized by age restrictions:

Without age restrictions:

  • Online tasks:
    • Freelancing: Offer writing, editing, translation, or graphic design services on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer. Focus on tasks appropriate for your skills and age.
    • Data entry: Find data entry jobs on websites or through companies who can be flexible with younger workers.
    • Online surveys: While the income is usually low, participating in paid surveys can earn you some pocket money. Remember to only use reputable platforms.
  • Creative pursuits:
    • Sell crafts or artwork: Sell your creations online through Etsy or social media, or at local markets.
    • Start a YouTube channel or blog: If you have a talent or passion, build an audience and explore monetization options like advertising or sponsorships. Remember responsible online practices.
    • Music or art performances: Showcase your talent at cafes, events, or online platforms.

With age restrictions (usually 16+):

  • Part-time jobs: Explore options like retail, restaurants, cafes, or tutoring after school and during holidays. Check the legal minimum wage for your age.
  • Dog walking or pet sitting: Offer your services to pet owners in your neighborhood.
  • Babysitting: Care for children under adult supervision, ensuring you comply with local regulations.
  • Car washing or gardening: Offer these services to neighbors or local businesses.

General tips:

  • Focus on your studies: Balance earning money with academic commitments.
  • Start small and gradually increase your workload.
  • Be responsible with your earnings. Save for future goals or spend wisely.
  • Be aware of scams and illegal activities. Only work with reputable sources.
  • Follow labor laws and regulations related to your age.

Remember, it’s crucial to prioritize your studies and well-being while exploring these options.

Choose activities that align with your interests, skills, and available time. Always prioritize safety and responsible practices.

Key Takeaways

  • Selling used items online via platforms like OLX and Bidorbuy is an easy way to make extra money
  • Tutoring other students in academic subjects you excel at can earn R100-R250 per hour
  • Getting a part-time job in retail, hospitality, admin, driving or childcare fits with a student schedule
  • Completing online surveys in your spare time provides small yet steady earnings
  • Becoming a brand ambassador allows you to earn while promoting brands on campus
  • Start freelancing online in your field of study to set your

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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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X: @freelancian

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