Tough times for a sin­gle earner with a fam­ily of six

CityPress - - News - – Sizwe sama Yende

Even ba­sic foods like bread and rice are too ex­pen­sive for Thelma Man­gane’s fam­ily. Man­gane, who lives in Naas near Ko­matipoort in Mpumalanga, has also left ce­real, ham, Rus­sian sausages and Mel­rose cheese off her shop­ping list this year.

Ice cream, canned mixed fruit and Halls con­cen­trated juice are also off the list.

Man­gane (68), a re­tired teacher, and her fam­ily have also cut back on meat. They are down to just frozen braai-pack chicken, which is way cheaper than beef, mut­ton, pork and boere­wors.

“Times are re­ally tough. Buy­ing gro­ceries needs proper plan­ning. I have to de­cide what we can do with­out and leave out of the monthly gro­cery list,” she says.

“Even bread and rice, which we eat daily and can­not do with­out, have be­come ex­pen­sive.

“We had to cut out cer­tain foods to be able to con­tinue buy­ing bread, rice, and veg­eta­bles and chicken.”

She wanted to plant a veg­etable gar­den in her back yard – but there’s a wa­ter short­age in the Nko­mazi Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, so she can’t.

Man­gane gets a R1 500 monthly pen­sion, which she uses to sup­port her fam­ily of six – chil­dren Mduduzi (31), Ly­dia (36) and Thabiso (22); and grand­chil­dren Lihle (20), So­musa (20) and Luthando (7).

Mduduzi is the only other fam­ily mem­ber with some form of in­come, but it is ir­reg­u­lar. The lo­cal news­pa­per he co-owns isn’t mak­ing money yet.

“I have learnt to dou­ble-check prices on the shelves to avoid get­ting sur­prised at the till. Plan­ning and count­ing for gro­ceries is what I do.

“That odd braai we have when rel­a­tives visit us needs to be planned for prop­erly.”

PHOTO: MANDLA KHOZA

fIG PLAN­NERS Lidia Man­gane, Luthando Masim­ula, Thelma Man­gane and Lihle Man­gane

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