The author of this post chose to remain anonymous.
Dear Mr. Lesetja Kganyago,
I know that you have a huge responsibility as the Governor of the Reserve Bank. I know that you constantly have to make decisions for the ‘good of South Africa’ and that you have to ‘raise interest rates to combat inflation’.
Today I want to write to you as the woman on the street.
I work for a private company. I am a mom who needs her job. I do not have the luxury of striking for increases, or to combat petrol price increases, but I want to implore you on the behalf of the man on the street to stop killing us.
We are in a struggle for survival and constantly have to tighten our belts. I guess that you would say that I am part of the ‘missing middle’. I am blessed to have a job, yes even though after 10 years of employment the first increase that I have received in two years is R400 a month. Perhaps my employer has also felt the need to tighten his belt.
In the interim everything has gone up. Mr. Governor, sir, it seems to me that you are helping the rich get richer and poor get poorer. How you may ask?
Well let me give you an example – I have recently (two years ago) purchased a house, but because my income was low I had a hefty interest rate and because of your interest rate increases my bond has increased from R12 500 in October 2015 to R13 266.74 in February 2016. This is excluding the fact that you may have to increase it again. Perhaps you may be thinking that I have purchased an expensive house. No Sir, I have purchased a decent little house that I can leave for my children when I am not here anymore.
You are increasing the interest rate and only people who can afford savings benefit. Most South Africans are living on credit.We work but have no money at the end of the day because our income has to service debt.
Do you realise how you are killing us?
Yes, the rand has weakened but why are you punishing us for the president’s mistakes. Mr. Kganyago the average South African barely earns an income that he/she can survive on. There are people out there who cannot afford food. I am flabbergasted when I go into a shop.
The ‘specials’ this year are even more than what was the normal prices on groceries last year. When is this going to stop sir? We work for companies and do not get the benefit of pension funds and other luxuries like medical aid.
The petrol goes up and we have to work it into our budget because we have to get to work. We cannot take public transport because we do not have such a stable system. We cannot leave at the crack of dawn because we have to send our children to school and have you even looked at the price of school fees and school transport?
We say that our country is supposed to be improving. How may I ask?
Incompetent people are getting jobs. People are getting desperate and are turning to lives of crimes. We can constantly talk about budget speeches and improvements but instead of harping on the past and changing things that remind us of apartheid, can you not re-channel funds used for name changing and government wellness days, funds used in luxury flights or having unnecessary catered events more wisely.
Who am I to judge sir, I do not know that huge politics that you have to deal with. I do not know of huge salaries or bonuses because in our company a bonus is a privilege and a 13th cheque unheard of. I do not know what your demands are but what I do know is that by increasing interest rates and petrol prices you are stealing food from the mouths of our children. We cannot afford to live anymore. Think on this before you try and battle inflation.
I am not sure about what you have to deal with but I want to know when was the last time that you spoke to the man on the street – to hear our concerns and the impact that a seeming small interest rate (like a quarter of a percent) has on us. A 30c fuel levy may seem small but add that to the thousands that we are spending on travelling – my travelling cost has increased from R2500 to R3500 per month.
No, sir, I cannot find a job closer home so I am doomed to sit in traffic and the fact that bread and milk have gone up by at least R5 per item.
Can you tell me how am I supposed to survive? I wish that I could stay at home and be there for my kids. Maybe then I could bake my own bread and do subsistence farming but right now between being a working woman, a wife and a mother I am smothered with everyone else needs. I don’t have time to find a fourth job sir, so please bear this in mind when you consider things that would cause us ordinary South Africans to default on their payments.
It’s not because we want to sir, but because we cannot afford it….