R3 500

CityPress - - News -

Amonthly wage of R3 500 cov­ers just 69% of a small house­hold’s min­i­mal needs of R5 056. So says the liv­ing wage cal­cu­la­tor, a tool de­vel­oped by Code4SA and News24, which cal­cu­lates the cost of liv­ing of a three-mem­ber house­hold.

De­vel­op­ers of the tool based the R5 056 liv­ing wage on a house­hold with one bread­win­ner and two school-go­ing de­pen­dants.

The cost of food, it cal­cu­lated, was R2 430 per month based on con­sumer price in­dex data on food as at April 2014. They cal­cu­lated that the min­i­mum food cost per house­hold mem­ber should be R27 a day, or R815 a month, to en­sure that ev­ery­one in the home re­ceived ad­e­quate nu­tri­tion.

The av­er­age monthly trans­port cost per house­hold would be R606 – R14 for a one-way trip on pub­lic trans­port – based on an av­er­age gleaned from an in­for­mal poll of do­mes­tic work­ers in Cape Town.

De­vel­op­ers pegged hous­ing costs for a fam­ily of three at R500 a month, in­clud­ing elec­tric­ity. Any­thing cheaper was likely to be sit­u­ated in a risky area where san­i­ta­tion ser­vices were low and crime rates high.

Health­care costs of an av­er­age R120 were also in­cluded. The cheap­est op­tion was R299 per month, which would push the wage re­quired even higher.

Ed­u­ca­tion costs of R200 – R100 per child per month – were added, which in­cluded ba­sic ex­penses such as sta­tionery, uni­forms, text­books and trans­port.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions costs are also sig­nif­i­cant – R300 per month and R100 per per­son – “nec­es­sary for stay­ing in touch with fam­i­lies, friends, ac­cess­ing news and for emer­gen­cies”.

De­vel­op­ers also in­cluded a R300 bud­get for re­cre­ation and R600 for mis­cel­la­neous costs such as “cloth­ing, house­hold items, per­sonal care and emer­gency ex­penses”.

– Staff reporter

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