A brand new South African horizontal Sirtch is the country’s first classifieds site to offer listings in IsiZulu and IsiXhosa — two of SA’s most commonly spoken languages.

Sirtch logo South Africa has 11 official languages, but up until now, classifieds users have only ever been able to browse ads in English. While there is an odd number of Afrikaans ads on Gumtree.co.za and OLX.co.za — the two horizontals Sirtch hopes to challenge — the sites’ frameworks are all in English.

The new site was launched by entrepreneur Sibusiso Khoza last year. He got the idea after trading second-hand goods to supplement his income for two years. “I created a database of people I knew traded items online and were also looking for a simple platform where they can post their items. Those were the first people I approached once Sirtch was online”, he told Business Report

Khoza has more than eight years of experience as a software developer and developed and funded Sirtch himself. “It’s a personal sacrifice I believe will be worth it when we reach a point where we are able to grow the platform to be popular, profitable and continue to be useful to our users.”

The company is owned by Khoza’s Industrial African Resources and software company Noborox. The latter contributed spacial data and algorithms to the site. 

Sirtch offers five categories: electronics, cars and bakkies (the South African term for a pick-up), real estate, homeware, and jobs.  It currently hosts around 1000 ads and sees an average of 2500 to 3000 unique visitors, according to Khoza — who didn’t add a time frame to these numbers. 

The site is already planning the launch of a new product: Plan a Meet. The tool will help sellers and buyers find suitable meeting spots, providing them with information about nearby ATMs, police stations, filling stations and restaurants. 

In the future, Khoza hopes to launch an Android app to complement the site. “Because of the limited resources, we have to move at a pace that is affordable to us yet fast enough to service the need for mobile access.”

Sirtch has a lot of work to do if it plans to take on South Africa’s leading horizontals Gumtree.co.za and OLX.co.za. The sites saw a monthly average of 29.7 million and 6.4 million visitors, respectively, between January and March, according to SimilarWeb.

 

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