In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a spark ignited within our local community. Recognizing the need for solidarity and support, HCS birthed “Local First” as a humble yet powerful movement in an attempt to keep as much money as we possibly could – local. 

Conceived within the nurturing embrace of HCS (Hibiscus Coast Community Hub), this movement aimed to connect, uplift, and rally the locals who sought a lifeline during challenging times and build a network that cannot be defined by the recessions and pandemics

From these modest beginnings, Local First has grown by leaps and bounds, fueled by the commitment of our vibrant community and of course team members. But our journey is far from over. Our vision is clear: we won’t rest until we have the absolute best of our region listed and celebrated.

HCS, our community’s beating heart, has been the cornerstone of this remarkable journey. Together, we embark on the #TheLocalFirstChallenge. It’s a challenge exclusively designed for locals like you, encouraging each of us to invest at least 10% more in our local treasures every month.

As we deepen our local connections, we also invite the world to discover the hidden gems of the Hibiscus Coast through our directory. Join us on this incredible journey of local pride, growth, and discovery along the Hibiscus Coast

Admin T's & C's

Advertising Days:

  1. Mondays and Fridays are designated as advertising days. While it’s not mandatory, we recommend using hashtags like #cybermonday and #promofriday in your posts.

Featured Advertisers: 2. On other days, only featured advertisers from “Local First” and “Hcs and Partners” are allowed. Some may use #hcsfeatured, while others are granted automatic approval. There is a new introduction for #vipwednesdays. Every Local First Listed business is able to share their unique URL / LINK to HCS every Wednesday. This is only the link and their relevant description and hashtag #thelocalfirstchallenge 



Uncertainty: 3. If you’re unsure about a post, consider leaving it in the queue rather than declining it outright.


Queue Building: 4. We allow queues to build up on Sundays and Thursdays to prepare for the next advertising day to avoid losing posts.


Handling “Help” Posts: 5. We’re working on improving the handling of “help” posts, potentially involving more admin members. We have other groups like “Locals in need” and “Barter” that we would like to build up with more hands on deck. 


No Bumping: 6. Bumping of advertising posts is not allowed. Non-partners who do so may receive warnings or be muted.


Single Post per Business: 7. Businesses are encouraged to make one post per business on Mondays and Wednesdays only. We advise them to consolidate multiple items into a single post. subsequent posts will be removed. You can always click on a profile to check their previous activity on HCS. 


Distinguishing Categories: 8. “Hcs and Partners” is for national non-local companies or companies not joined the #thelocalfirstchallenge , while “Local First” is for locally-owned businesses with a head office locally. 


Local Directory: 9. In “Local First,” we maintain a local directory for unique local businesses, aiming to have a comprehensive listing. The mission began during COVID-19 when HCS was the go-to for everything. The goal is to be able to simply paste www.localfirst.africa on HCS requests for easy browsing of local offerings. (making a wealthier community) 


Event Advertising: 10. Events can be advertised on advertising days, but collaboration with “Local First” is encouraged for alternate days. Here we ask for our logo to be on advertising gear and we assist with the distribution of the event. Often we would like o also be at the event with our gazebo and other promotional goodies. 


Admin Conduct: 11. Admins are expected to be impartial, and kind, and promote tolerance, especially toward members who are still learning.

Freedom of Expression: 12. While we encourage freedom of expression, we allow all walks of life to post and communicate. No egos ruiling in 2023. 


Facebook Rules: 13. We follow Facebook rules, which means no animals can be sold on our platform. Pictures of firearms must be declined. (Besides for LF Partner HENNS arms Facebook has no flagged shares) The sale of vapes and sex toys is also prohibited. However, we do allow people to try and rehome their animals on Hcs. We trust the community to get involved, including reminding the poster to conduct home checks. With 26,000 active members on Hcs, it’s crucial to prevent animals from being easily abandoned – again systems are always available to be improved and streamlined. 


Compliments and Complaints: 14. Please tag a business when they receive a compliment if possible and thank the poster for using HCS to spread the word. We thrive on compliments on Hcs but discourage complaints. If you encounter a complaint, please consult with the admin WhatsApp group before taking any action.

No Anonymous Sales Posts: 15. We do not approve sales posts from anonymous accounts. Anonymous posts are really helpful for many people, however exercise caution when approving them 

Reporting Negativity: 16. Report to the admin chat the names of individuals you believe deliberately and continually cause negativity within the group.


Membership Approval Criteria: 18. Ensure that questions are answered, and members confirm that they live locally. We accept members from anywhere up to Scottburgh, including Toti and inland to Kokstad. If questions are left unanswered, or if their profile does not indicate local residence, please decline their request to join. We aim to maintain a group of members relevant to our local community. Learn what a fake account may look like – John Smith with an no profile picture with an account younger than 3 months old requires investigation. 


Reporting and Removing Posts: 19. Please don’t remove reported posts until you have had agreement from someone else in the admin chat, unless it is obviously spam, guns, or other prohibited content that has sneaked through.


Admin Advertising: 20. Advertising days are open for admins to advertise or post their own businesses daily to the groups that are relevant to them. If their business is not yet on www.localfirst.africa they will receive a free listing and be added as PARTNER in the relevant spots on our website. 

This allows admins to promote their own businesses on NON advertising days as a special thanks. 


Relevant Posts and Avoiding Spam: 21. In the Food and Fun, HCS Property, and HCS Cars subgroups, relevant posts may be shared. However, we kindly ask that members refrain from spamming the groups with multiple posts in a single day. The goal is to ensure the groups remain diverse and not dominated by a few individuals.

This allows admins to promote their own businesses on NON advertising days as a special thanks. 

This allows admins to promote their own businesses on NON advertising days as a special thanks. 

These rules cover various aspects of our group management, advertising, collaboration, community standards, platform compliance, administrative conduct, and membership approval criteria. 


Local First Affiliate

If you’re passionate about supporting the Local First movement and want to become an affiliate, you can apply for an affiliate link. This link will track each listing you bring in and every renewal, earning you a commission of R90 from the R480 fee. There are no additional requirements. Simply encourage businesses to list through your link, ensure their satisfaction, and keep them renewing every six months.

Furthermore, if you’re interested in devising a strategy, let’s discuss categories that require more listings. We can implement daily category promotions throughout a month for businesses that complete their listings in a category. Encouraging businesses to showcase multiple offerings within a category can inspire others to do the same. Always keep in mind that we give preference to businesses with outstanding online reviews. 

Local First and our Partners