They still work in areas (outside of malls) where rent is cheap as well as in densely populated areas (outside of malls), even when there are malls in the area.
For example, if you are familiar with Cape Town's northern suburbs, it still works in Parow (outside of malls) but it didn't work in N1 City, even the one in the strip mall opposite of the N1 City mall didn't last.
Malls pose various challenges for independent butcheries: floor space is expensive and gets more expensive the smaller size you let. This creates two challenges: if you compete on price, you won't survive as your margins will be too thin (some people will still buy from bigger retailers butcheries out of convenience), if you increase your margins to stay in business then you are too close to what major retailers butcheries charge and have little to no advantage.
Major retailers get around the halaal issue simply by keeping the meat in separate fridges (I assume if they do processing, they process one type there and bring the other pre-packed). In most big malls you will usually have the following tenants: Checkers + PicknPay, or Shoprite + Fruit & Veg City all have their own butcheries.
Ranch Meat attempted the independent butchery in mall model, they had butcheries in N1 City mall and Canal Walk now they operating from a big space in an industrial area where they sell wholesale to other retailers, to the food service industry as well as to the public through a retail store on the premises. While I see they have recently opened a retail outlet in Somerset West I think the former strategy is probably the safer option: have your processing facilities where you sell wholesale from and add a shop if you like, like what manufacturers do with "factory shops".
In certain industries it is very tempting to move up the supply chain from wholesale to retail but retail is a different game, due to the challenging macro trading environment in SA (high costs, plenty of competition) which all eats into your profits you might be better off moving down the value chain, now I am not saying buy a farm and rear the animals, but I would personally opt for adding an abattoir to a wholesale operation rather than go retail. A smaller sized abattoir is an option, here is a interesting mobile abattoir model to give you an idea. @Claude embed PDF please.
If you don't want to slaughter animals, expanding processing capacity and ability (more meats, cuts and packaging) might be a better option than to turn a space into a retail store and hire shop assistants and cashiers. I think an investment in tangible assets such as processing equipment is better than an expensive retail strategy that will burn through cash with no guarantee on things like branding, shopfitting, POS systems and other shop equipment.