140226. Cape Town. Evona Rabelo talking to the Cape Argus about her household budget. Picture Henk Kruger

Cape Town - Middle-class families are being hit hard by the rise in the cost of living over the past few years.

Evona Rebelo, 48, of Green Point, who is married with three children, one of whom is intellectually challenged, said there were some positives from this year’s Budget speech, but the cost of everyday living was still very high.

She also looks after a niece and nephew.

Rebelo is the director of the Catholic Schools’ Office and her husband works as s an engineer, so they can afford their children’s varsity fees, but she said cutting other expenses was a necessity.

“We are skilled people with decent salaries, but sometimes we also feel the strain, as our insurance has gone up and so has our medical aid.

“I try to not have any accounts at places like Woolworths and Edgars. Credit cards are also a no no.

“It is quite expensive to run this family, with an intellectually challenged boy and another two at university. Food has become unusually expensive, so the food budget had to increase, tapering our whole eating style. The fuel price has also become ridiculous.”

The care for her 19-year-old challenged son made a huge dent in the family’s budget as they had to employ a caregiver.

She welcomed the increase in disability grants from R1 270 to R1 350.

“That money goes straight into his bank account for the future when one day we are not here.

“Accepting the social grants was an eye opener for me as it is a levelling factor across all sectors of communities. It is mind blowing to see that whole families live on that amount a month.”

She was also in favour of the R9.3bn tax relief, but questioned where the government was taking the money from to meet the deficit.

“It’s coming from sin taxes and fuel levies, which is not a positive at all.

“In terms of fuel levies we are all at a disadvantage.” - Cape Argus