Industry Overview

For several years, South Africa's ICT distribution channel has been under considerable pressure, affected by low economic growth, rising inflation, the fluctuating value of the rand and the contraction of many sectors in the face of the on-going global economic downturn. Many analysts also believe the channel is over-traded, further adding to the challenges of trading in this sector.

As a result, the ICT industry as a whole is no longer growing at a rate that is able to cushion distribution groups against the impact of rising costs and falling prices. Together with fierce competition for market share, this is significantly eroding margin.

Emerging technologies such as tablets and cloud computing are, however, bringing new dynamics to the market, and are offering new opportunities. Distributors are nevertheless faced with the choice of going big or going niche, and are finding themselves having to clearly define their value to resellers and vendors. Whether this value lies in being able to shift high volumes at low cost or in the ability to offer customisation, technical skills and services, the primary challenge for distributors is to create strong brands that are trusted throughout the supply chain.

Within this context, Sahara Computers continues to build its reputation as a reliable distributor of both its own brand and many of the world's top brands such as Genius, HP, Lexmark, LG, Sony and Toshiba. Despite challenging trading conditions, Sahara Computers remains one of the largest independent distributors of ICT products in the country and, with over 6 000 channel partners, has a strong and secure market position.

Sahara Computers

Sahara Computers is a 100% owned subsidiary of Sahara Computers Technology Group. At annual sales of R3 billion and a staff complement of 200 trained professionals, and a BB-BEE compliance rating of level 7, Sahara Computers is one of the largest independent Information Technology distributors in Southern Africa, headquartered in Midrand, Gauteng, with offices located in Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Mozambique.

The company started its operations in South African in 1997 and took on the name Sahara in 2000. The company which has naming rights at Durban's Kingsmead oval and Cape Town's St George's Park, was the country's number one laptop brand in 2006.

Its core business is of being a conduit through which the technology offerings of some of the world's major IT producers is made available to over 6 000+ channel partners.

Sahara Computers sells to more than 7,000 customers, who are resellers to end users of all sizes, including small and medium-sized business, large enterprises, educational institutions, government agencies and consumers. The company is a single point of purchase for resellers providing access to a vast array of technology products, including networking devices, server and storage hardware, notebooks and desktop computers, printers, scanners, HD Televisions, cameras, peripheral products and accessories, power devices, operating systems and security, business intelligence and other productivity software applications.

These products are offered in conjunction with a comprehensive range of services, including innovative financing, technical training and industry events, along with scores of business development programmes that are designed to help reseller operate in their business more efficiently. As an authorised and exclusive distributor of many leading vendors, these products are distributed under agreement from the manufacturers of leading brands such as: ADATA, BenQ, CREATIVE, Canon, Dell, Fondi, Genius, Hp, Intel, LEXMARK, LG, McAfee, Microsoft, SanDisk, Toshiba and WD

In the PC and laptop market, Sahara Computers has a 30%-40% share of the dealer-based market and 10%-12% of the retail market. The retail division supplies products to large national chain stores and addresses the growing sectors of the market with price competitive offerings. Retails stores in this category include Edcon through CNA and the JD groups whose retail brands include Bradlows, Joshua Doors, Electric Express, HiFi Corp, Incredible Connection, and Best Electric amongst others.

Sahara Computers is on a growth part to become a R5 billion company in 3 years, No.1 ICT solution provider in the country, connecting brands with consumers.

Product and Good Performance

The core of Sahara's Computers performance is in its astute and dedicated people, products that are of the highest quality in performance and durability, and excellence in being the best supply chain partner in the ICT industry, making Sahara Computers a reputable and successful organisation that is at the forefront of innovation.

Social Responsibility

Sahara Computers has an on-going sponsorship and corporate social investment programme that reinforces its strategic commitment to youth and sports development, both at provincial and national level. As part of this programme, the company regularly donates computers to schools in rural areas throughout South Africa in order to provide as many learners as possible with equal access to information and communication technology. Sahara Computers has a goal to contribute to the development of South Africa to benefit from the countries financial and knowledge based growth.

CEO Comments


"We offer our customers a complete basket of ICT products including a large variety of desktops, notebooks, tablets, components and peripheral devices from leading global technology vendors. Our customers are not only organised retailers but SMB’s and mom and pop shops.


"We leverage off the innovations in technology from our global market leading vendors such as ScanDisk, Acer, X Touch and Fondi"

Market Performance

With our great mix of products and value added services we are a leading supplier to the largest organised retail stores in the country.

Market Recognition

Sahara have recently been awarded best and biggest TOSHIBA distribution partner, fastest growing distributor of SANDISK, best distributor of WESTERN DIGITAL.

Future Plans

We are aiming to enter the enterprise space with Data Storage centres and are looking at being the first to introduce the smallest personal computer with technology leaders like Intel.

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