Support small businesses during the lockdown

30 Apr 2020
Tourists enjoy the sunset from the top of Ponte with Dlala Nje. Photo by Twiza Kayisa
Tourists enjoy the sunset from the top of Ponte with Dlala Nje. Photo by Twiza Kayisa
The local tourism and hospitality industries have been among the hardest hit by the global Coronavirus pandemic as hotels and tour guides face cancelled bookings, international travel grinds to a halt and restaurants, cafes and bars are forced to close their doors during the 21-day lockdown.

From cafes whose staff rely on tips, to local NPOs whose tourism-related activities provide revenue for community projects, there are a lot of small businesses in Joburg who are looking to their customers to support them while they remain closed in April.

Your donation, no matter how small, will make a difference! Here are just a few such Back a Buddy funds asking for donations. Please note this is an ongoing list that we are continually trying to update.

Dlala Nje 

The inspiring walking tour company Dlala Nje, based at the iconic Ponte tower block in Berea, uses the proceeds from its unique walking tours of areas like Hillbrow, Yeoville and the Doornfontein Ridge to support its community centre at the 50-storey Ponte building. It may be a long time before it is safe again to invite visitors and tourists to tour this area of the city and while Dlala Nje's tours are closed they are still seeking funding to support their community centre through this crisis. Make a donation to their Backabuddy campaign here.

Once In Joburg - Once Tribe Fund

The Once in Joburg and Once in Cape Town backpackers have launched a fund to support their 57 staff, the Once Tribe, while the backpackers' doors are closed and tourists bookings remain stagnant. The fund will also be used to provide the staff with hospitality training and upskilling while they cannot work. Donate here.

Croft & Co 

Croft & Co in Parkview is evertone's favourite scrambled eggs spot, and much more besides. The cafe underwent an amazing renovation just a few week ago and now needs your help to stay in business. 

The Whippet Coffee Company

The Whippet cafe and coffee shop, which has two Joburg branches (in Linden and in Melville), is calling for donations for their staff who rely closely on tips. You can donate to The Whippet Support Fund here.


Illovo's outstanding contemporary fine dining restaurant Farro has set up a fund for their kitchen and waitstaff to help them make up for lost tips during April. Support the Farro Staff Fund here. 

Ophelia Cafe

Neighbourhood coffee shop Ophelia in Emmarentia is looking for support to pay staff and suppliers while they remain closed through April. Support the Ophelia fund here.  

The Artivist 

Braamfontein's cocktail bar, bistro and live music venue The Artivist is calling on its patrons to support their staff, many of whom rely heavily on tips, who won't be able to work during the lockdown. Find out how you can support them here.

Sir James Van der Merwe and Katy's Palace

Help keep Wednesday nights at Sir James van der Merwe in play and the staff of Sir James Van der Merwe and Katy's Palace in jobs. They have hosted so many great events and hope to host more. 

Sum Ting Fresh 

One of our favourite market vendors needs your help to keep making the best fried chicken boats in this town. You can contribute via Howler and there's also some cool #standwithSumtingFresh merchandise available to purchase for collection or delivery when lockdown ends. 


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