|The Black Diamonds 2008 studies by the UCT Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing and TNS Research Surveys have revealed that black middle-class women's annual spending now represents over 40% of the annual spend of all South African women.|
Independent, financially secure and ambitious, South Africa's 1.5 million Black Diamond women are calling the shots when it comes to making decisions about purchases, the Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing and TNS Research Surveys report.
The research partners' Black Diamond 2008 studies found that black middle-class women's annual spending is now R120 billion. This represents over 40% of the annual spend of all South African women.
Since the annual Black Diamond research was first initiated in 2005, the number of upwardly mobile middle-class black South Africans has grown by one million people to three million.
"It was incredibly exciting to find that for the first time in our history, Black Diamonds' spending power matches that of white South Africans," said Professor John Simpson, director of the UCT Unilever Institute. "It has leapt from R180-billion in 2007 to R250 billion in 2008."
Black Diamond women now represent one tenth of the country's adult population. Their increased earnings are helping close the income gap with their male counterparts and they are becoming a vital economic force in their own right, Simpson said.
TNS Research Survey's Rudo Maponga explains this shift has also disrupted trends in a number of product categories, including non-traditional categories such as motor vehicles. She says economic empowerment means Black Diamond women are increasingly assuming the role of primary breadwinner and that the vast majority have the final say when it comes to purchases.
"The findings confirm some of our expectations. While we found women make decisions about 89% of day-to-day purchases, they are also responsible for 69% of major household purchases, like kitchen appliances. More interestingly, their economic clout is now being felt in sectors such as the car market where many women now have the final say on what is parked in the driveway.
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