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Cape Town - A Phillipi petrol attendant was at work filling tanks as usual on Tuesday - in plain clothes. With his two children to feed and send to school, and his two sisters relying on his income to survive, he can’t afford to go without tips for even a day.
“We don’t even make R700 per week in wages,” he said.
The man doesn’t like to think about the possibility of self-service pumps being introduced. “It will affect not only my life, but my family. All of our families,” he said, waving at his fellow petrol attendants. “It will cost us a lot - our lives.”
He works 11-hour shifts at a petrol station in Cape Town, where he’s been employed for nearly four years. Before filling tanks, he was a forklift driver, but when his licence expired he had no money to renew it.
“Because of the life we are living, we can’t complain about this job,” he said. “I just try to provide for my family.”
They live in Philippi. His taxi to work costs R30, and he relies on tips to cover the cost.
“On a busy day, you can make up to R200,” he said. “But if it’s bad, you just go home with a return ticket (R60).”
He said that even though he earned very little, he took care to budget all his money.
“My kids are the priority of my budget,” he said. His children, 12 and five years old, go to school in Cape Town and Athlone. The cost of their transport uses up half of their father’s wages.
“I have to sacrifice and forget about food sometimes,” he said. “I come last on my budget.”
Cadet News Agency