Considering the dwindling economy, rand against the rising cost of food items in South Africa, report findings say a family of five can survive on R1,146.57 per month to buy the most basic groceries.
This according to investigations, stands at 52% higher than the R753 Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini claims is adequate to support an indigent household
The investigation result presented by Fin24 after taking a trip to Shoprite in Mowbray in Cape Town where it found out how much it would cost a family of five people to buy the basic necessities, including perishable and non-perishable items, for one month, said R1,146.57 can confidently be enough for a man, his wife and three children.
This estimate is however made outside important commodities like the cost for electricity, fuel such as paraffin, candles, matches and transport.
The cheapest items on the shelves were selected and the quantities were conservative and at the end, the bill amounted to R393.57 more than the current monthly social grant of R753 per month with which families have to make ends meet.
We could recall that weeks back, Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini said R753 for an entire month is enough for South Africans.
The minister said this in response to a parliamentary question posed by the DA that the current social grant of R753 per month is “above the highest upper bound poverty line”.
She said : “These beneficiaries (of social grants) should have enough to buy adequate food as well as additional non-food items,”
She further pointed out that a budget of 8.2% was allocated for grant increases and that this increase needed to provide for both demographic and economic factors.
“All these factors have a considerable influence in determining annual grant increases. However, these increases are constrained by the available budget,” Dlamini said.
Dlamini’s “insensitive responses” were heavily criticized by South Africans especially as the DA ordered her to try living on the proposed amount to know if the amount is enough.
“With rising food prices due to the drought and other factors‚ the minister’s claim is deeply insensitive and completely untrue‚”
“Whether she made a calculation error or simply never looks at invoices when doing shopping or checking into hotels has rendered her out of touch with the poor despite being the minister in charge of the most vulnerable in our society.” Bridget Masango, the DA’s spokesperson on social development, said in a statement.
Funny as it is, just few days after her comments, came a report from the DA that the minister had lived in luxury Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks in KwaZulu-Natal on 31 occasions.
Ninety-four percent of South African households are however said to be potential dis-savers. This in a way means that that the income net of taxes, minus average expenditure, is highly negative for the low income groups.