South Africa has largely dismantled its old economic system that involved extensive government involvement in the domestic economy through state-owned enterprises. Approximately 90% of the population and consumer market surrounds the cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, and Port Elizabeth.
Retail establishments are extremely diverse, ranging from local convenience stores and specialty shops to department stores, supermarkets, and chain stores. There are some wholesale outlet stores as well and hypermarkets are beginning to find a place in some suburban areas. In rural areas, merchants sponsor cooperative stores. Nearly 90% of consumer goods are domestically sourced. The number of franchises continues to grow, with about 300 firms represented as of 2002. The government maintains price controls on petroleum products and certain food products. There are many advertising agencies, with the five largest accounting for 70% of all advertising billings.
Business hours for most offices and shops are from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM , Monday through Friday, and from 8:30 AM until 1:00 PM on Saturday. Banks are usually open from 9 AM to 3:30 PM weekdays, and from 8:30 to 11 AM on Saturdays.