What poverty looks like

2017-08-27 05:59
Inam Ntulo (12) outside her home with her great-grandmother, Nolungile (82), and her siblings

Inam Ntulo (12) outside her home with her great-grandmother, Nolungile (82), and her siblings

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More than 50% of South Africans are living below poverty line - Stats SA

2017-08-24 16:51

Statistics South Africa released the 'Poverty trends in South Africa: An examination of absolute poverty between 2006 and 2015' report on Tuesday, revealing a startling increase in poverty rates. Watch. WATCH

Multidimensional poverty, a term often used at this week’s release of Stats SA’s report on local poverty trends, is something the Ntulo family knows well.

The family of seven from Lower-Ngqwara near Mqanduli, Eastern Cape, is headed by Nolungile Ntulo (82).

The elderly woman, who never set foot in school, hopes life will be different for her great-granddaughter, Inam (12).

Nolungile describes the Grade 6 pupil as a bright child, and hopes she will get a proper education and help get her family out of poverty.

Inam wants to be a social worker. But to do that, she must overcome many hardships.

Multidimensional poverty consists of several aspects that contribute to deprivation, including bad health, a low living standard, disempowerment and a lack of education and income.

The family has no access to running water.

After school Inam carries 10 litres of water on her head from the river 2km away as many as five times so they can cook and bathe.

They cannot afford electricity all the time and use candles for light and cook on fires in the open.

The village does not have a clinic and the Ntulos have to pay R24 for a return trip to Mqanduli or pay a R50 return fare to Mthatha if they need to see a doctor.

Nolungile says they have no livestock and cannot afford to plant their own crops.

The family survives on the 82-year-old’s state pension and her four great-grandchildren’s grants.

Her two adult grandchildren are unemployed. “Without them [grants] we would be even poorer than we already are,” she said.

Although their situation is dire, the Ntulos still do not fall under the extreme poverty line, defined as R440 per month per family member.

Inam says she battles to do her homework by candlelight, after their R50’s worth of electricity runs out halfway through the month. But she always makes sure it is done.

“I love my grandmother because she loves us too. She is always here with us and protects us and cooks us food,” she says.

“One day when I am old enough and working as a social worker I want to buy her a big house and a car.”

Read more on:    stats sa  |  poverty

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