This statement might be true if your basic needs are taken care of. You’ve got somewhere safe to stay, enough to eat, your children are cared for and are safe and you have a job or some source of income.
If every day is, however, a struggle to survive, I seriously doubt whether this statement can be true. Around 35 million people in South Africa live below the breadline, which calculates to having to live on around R28 per day.
In 2015 49.2% of all adults in South Africa, lived below the UBPL (Upper Bound Poverty Line) – this equates to a monthly income of R1 335.
Females experience higher levels of poverty than men. This might be because females still earn about 84% of what males earn for the same job. And it is usually the female who ends up with children after a divorce and in many instances without the proper financial support from the father. A woman is mostly left with only UIF payments while taking maternity leave, while a man can continue working, earning a salary.
Financial security plays a big role in emotional stability. It is so much easier to deal with daily stresses if you know that your basic needs have been taken care of, financially.
But if you live in a community or situation where food, transport, water & electricity, sanitation and refuse removal are not a given, it plays in on your emotions and wellbeing.
Covid and the latest drama in Russia and Ukraine do not contribute to an easier solution to these challenges as all living expenses will increase due to the steep rise in oil prices.
So where do we look for solutions to all these challenges? Create job opportunities of cause! But being a small business owner, this is also easier said than done. All businesses but especially SMEs has suffered greatly during and even now after (?) Covid. So, to expect us to create jobs is a tall order.
I believe the continuous payment of a Basic Income Grant can be the answer. And yes, I do know that this comes with its specific challenges with regards to where to source the money from. BUT: All monies paid out on a Basic Income Grant will simply recirculate into our economy. That money is used for survival in terms of paying for basic needs. And this will create jobs from below, upwards. If a food supplier store has more people buying from them, they can/must employ more employees to deal with the demand etc.
So, do you need money to be happy? Maybe not, but it’s damn hard if you need to struggle to survive.
So, on a lighter note: Those guys who brewed the beer during lockdown – how about a plan for petrol now?
I believe that every crisis presents us with new opportunities. Let us not miss them!
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