Budget pic of man working out his budget. 270213. story: Botho Picture: Chris Collingridge 335

Every day, father of two * Lihle Langa drives through three toll gates to get to work.

He also spends R500 a week on petrol just to make daily trips that include picking and dropping off his two sons at school.

These days, Langa and his wife are worried that although they have been tightening their belts and forgoing many luxuries, e-tolling and the proposed electricity hikes, if implemented, would make life difficult financially.

He had hoped that the minister would relieve the effect of high electricity tariffs and that he would also use the petrol levy to fund the e-tolls instead of South Africans forking out from their pockets.

But on Wednesday, Minister Pravin Gordhan did not say anything about e-tolls and electricity hikes.

Langa and his wife have a combined salary of R50 000 after tax, which he says is not a lot, considering what they pay out each month.

To make their money last longer, the Langas have cut back on a lot of things.

His wife no longer gets a professional to do her nails.

She bought a manicure and pedicure kit to do them herself.

The children no longer get toys.

The household eats red meat only once a week. Langa no longer spends R200 a month on Sunday newspapers. He buys one newspaper on a Sunday - the one with the most interesting headlines.

He is now thinking of letting the landline and internet go too.

“At times we battle to make ends meet.

“This issue of a 16 percent hike for Eskom is too high for us. Everyone will battle and the price of food will go up.

“As for the toll roads, the government needs to collect money from the petrol levy,” the 37-year-old man said.

However, people in the tax bracket of the Langa and his and wife will save about R2 000 a year in tax.

“All I’m feeling now that the minister did not mention e-tolls and the electricity hike is indifference. What can one do? We will just soldier on.

“The tax rebate is welcome but I don’t think it will make a huge dent,” he said.

- R4 000 on petrol

- R5 000 on school fees

- R2 000 on the helper

- R4 500 on food and toiletries

- R12 000 on the bond

- R2 600 on water, lights and rates

- R2 000 on car insurance

- R1 250 on DStv and internet

- R 8 000 on car instalments

- R1 500 on cellphone contracts

- R2 000 on life insurance

That comes to R44 850, leaving them with R5 150. They then have to spread that money towards their monthly savings and unbudgeted expenses such as clothes, replacing car tyres or something in the house once in a while. - The Star

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* Not his real name