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14 Aug 2015 00:00
In certain areas of the Free State, more than 70% of the total population earn less than R1 600 a month, placing huge pressure on pensioners
The relevance of social grants, as outlined in President Jacob Zuma’s Women’s Day speech, cannot be emphasised enough.
While census and survey data of those citizens particularly in the rural areas is sparse, what has been established is that in the rural areas, on average there are more than five people per household, with an average family size of between seven and 10 people and the number of households is steadily growing.
Most South African households in rural areas live on old age pension grant money, which currently stands at around R900 per month. There remains huge pressure, especially on grandmothers, whose grant money is being used to support unemployed children and grandchilden.
In certain rural areas in the Free State, for example, more than 70% of the total population earn under R1 600 per month. The highest earners take home an average salary of R16 000 and figures indicate that women, on average, earn far less than men.
The problem of unemployment within the youth remains a pressing issue however, the increasing number of public-private initiatives with emphasis on women, are bringing hope and encouragement to citizens across the country.
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