SA urgently needs a decisive answer to the BIG question

Ideas

SA urgently needs a decisive answer to the BIG question

Can we afford for government to dither on social grants when so many in our country are going hungry?

Executive editor: opinions and analysis

Thabang* lives in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria. The 41-year-old and his wife Mantwa* (34) lost their jobs three and a half years ago when the medium-size firm they were working for in Randburg suffered financial losses and retrenched en masse. These were not high-paying, but junior admin posts that were available for anyone with a matric certificate, back when the economy grew with positive numbers.

When they were working, the couple rented a place to stay. They could afford enough food and other basic amenities to last a month for a family of three. The remainder of their earnings got swallowed up by taxi fares to and from work.

Retrenchment not only left them jobless, it shattered their lives. Employment in the semi-formal sector didn’t come with a retirement fund option, even though they toiled for years. When the inevitable happened, the company bid them farewell with a three month severance pay package...

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