Tough times for a single earner with a family of six
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.”
fIG PLANNERS Lidia Mangane, Luthando Masimula, Thelma Mangane and Lihle Mangane