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Thursday, August 11, 2022

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Under pressure: my savings are taking a knock, R25K salary severely stretched

Empty wallets: South Africans are debt rich and cash poor and it’s causing a lot of financial problems. Picture: Towfiqu Barhuiya/UnSplash

Empty wallets: South Africans are debt rich and cash poor and it’s causing a lot of financial problems. Picture: Towfiqu Barhuiya/UnSplash

Published Jul 30, 2022

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Johannesburg - The pressures arising from the rising costs of fuel, interest rates and food are being felt on all quarters.

* Thabang Ndlovu, 26, says he is struggling financially - like many people in the country with his R25 000 monthly salary.

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Ndlovu, who works as a communications officer in Mafikeng, says navigating the costs of travelling to work, food, rent and other responsibilities cannot be escaped, on an extremely tight budget.

The rising interest rates, high fuel prices, electricity and water tariff increases, and the rising cost of food, has had a hard-hitting effect on all South Africans, but is also hitting young people hard as they have just entered the employment market and need to navigate being independent.

“There was certainly a time when I could almost follow saving tips. However now, I’m lucky to even have anything to save when I have paid for all the things I need to pay,” he said.

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ORDINARY SOUTH AFRICANS SHARE THEIR BUDGETS: How does yours compare?

NAME: Thabang Ndlovu

OCCUPATION: Communications officer

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AGE: 26

AREA: Mafikeng

SUPPORTS: 3

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Income: R25 000

COSTS:

Loans: R6 000

Groceries: R2 000

Transport: R1 200

Bond/Rent: R3 000

Electricity: R1 000

Insurance: R2 000

Medical Aid: R2 700

Clothing: R1 200

Eating out: R1 000

Data/Fibre: R500

Telephone/Cell: R500

Ndlovu said if he had the option he would move back home to save on costs, but he does not have the option having criss-crossed internal borders in the country to retain work in Mafikeng.

“We do not all have the privilege to live at home for as long as we would like because work opportunities sometimes mean moving to a new province as I have. “We can’t rely on public transport because work requires us to travel so some ‘tips’ are just not for everyone,” says Ndlovu.

It has become clear that people have had to cut out many things in order to cover the costs of their needs leaving them with little to no money to set aside for rainy days.

Ndlovu’s R25 000 salary is severely stretched currently.

“The circumstances are very different among young people but the challenges are the same especially with the cost of living. We are all feeling the impact of this no matter how or to what extent, we all feel it.”

“Saving has become quite the challenge for me and having multiple streams of income is really not as easy as it sounds because finding a job is also quite a hassle in this country so you have to learn to work with what you have as best as you can,” said Ndlovu.

* Not his real name.

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