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CityPress - - News -

erato Seko of Braam­fis­cherville, Soweto, may be only 27 years old, but she has al­ready helped to ex­tend her fam­ily’s low-cost gov­ern­ment home.

The com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer works for the Public Af­fairs Re­search In­sti­tute at Wits Univer­sity and shares the house with her mother, a bank clerk, and her 15-year-old sis­ter. Seko, who be­gan work­ing four years ago af­ter she ob­tained her de­gree in pol­i­tics and eco­nom­ics, says she has al­ways had a dream to ren­o­vate her mother’s home.

In 2013, she ap­plied for a R15 000 loan from Capitec Bank to help her mother with ren­o­va­tions. They added two rooms to the house, and she paid off the loan in eight months.

“I’m luck­ier than some of my friends with un­em­ployed par­ents. I do it be­cause my mother de­nied her­self many things to make sure my sis­ter and I had bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties than she did,” she says. “As soon as you earn a liv­ing, you need to be a con­tribut­ing mem­ber of the fam­ily, even carry it if need be.” Although Seko wants to save money, it is prov­ing dif­fi­cult be­cause of her fam­ily pri­or­i­ties. “You do what you have to, even if it means tak­ing out a loan. I’ve al­ways con­sid­ered my­self fi­nan­cially re­spon­si­ble, so my re­tire­ment and sav­ings are taken care of,” she says. Ev­ery month Seko, who would not re­veal what she earns, gives her mother R1 000 for gro­ceries and buys the elec­tric­ity. She also pays for the fam­ily’s med­i­cal aid.

“You get ex­tra ex­penses that pop up dur­ing the month, but that’s life,” she says.

Also, those over­seas trips she’s been dream­ing of will take a while to be re­alised. “I’m sav­ing up for my first car and hop­ing to do my master’s de­gree next year. My lit­tle sis­ter will be go­ing to var­sity in 2018 and I’ll help out as much as I can.

“The bet­ter you do in life, the bet­ter off your fam­ily must also be,” she says.

Gro­ceries and house­hold ex­penses: R1 000 Elec­tric­ity: R400 Trans­port: R800 Med­i­cal aid: R1 600 Re­tire­ment an­nu­ity: 6% of her in­come

Sav­ings: R550

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