Location, Pietermartizburg, South Africa
079 398 9384 / 072 324 5043
info@pmbejd.org.za

August 2019 Household Affordability Index: Transport and Electricity takes up 58,7% of the August National Minimum Wage (exemption level) of R3 024.

One of the most striking features of the August HAI is that of the influence of the recent taxi fare hikes and electricity increases for low-paid workers.  In Pietermaritzburg taxi fares increased by ±7,7% and electricity by 13,07.  In August the typical transport cost for a low-paid worker in Pietermaritzburg is R1 176 per month and…
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Calls for South Africans to save money in the current socio-economic context may be misguided.

Calls for South Africans to save money in the current socio-economic context of very low baseline wages, high levels of unemployment and escalations in the cost of basic goods and services may be misguided. In our analysis this is because for most South Africans paid very low wages (1) savings are not generated from surplus…
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New zero-ratings (VAT exclusions) have had no impact on the food baskets of struggling South African households.

The introduction of new foods for zero-rating from April 2019 have not had any impact on the household affordability crisis. Read more…

Eskom hike wipes out R80 increase on pensioners’ old-age grants

Government approved a 13,8% increase on Eskom’s electricity tariffs.  Eskom’s tariff hike will wipe out the recently announced R80  monthly old-age grant increase for pensioners Read more…

Budget 2019: Downward spiral continues

The budget has failed miserably to stimulate the economy at the township level.  This budget continues the trajectory of massive and intractable levels of unemployment, low productivity, poor education and health outcomes, deepening poverty, increased social discontent and disintegration and low economic growth.  This is a budget that continues to exclude the majority of South…
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The National Minimum Wage is a National Poverty Wage

Now that the National Minimum Wage Act has been passed and with the publication of the Regulations to the National Minimum Wage Act, which see exemption thresholds taking 10% off the hourly rate for workers; the wages of many of the most vulnerable workers will be set even lower than the current sectoral determinations. This…
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Response to MTBPS 2018

A R20 saving on VAT by zero-rating cake flour and sanitary pads is not enough to protect millions of South African households from a deepening food affordability crisis.  In the face of the scale, depth and negative consequences of the food affordability crisis facing millions of South African households the measures proposed in the MTBPS…
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Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement: what we will be looking out for:

It seems to us that the most urgent political priority for South Africa is dealing with our economic crisis in a manner that reduces inequality and eradicates poverty.  Deliberations around the MTBPS should by necessity be guided by and respond to this political priority.  In assessing the MTBPS, we would be looking at (1) measures…
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World Food Day, October 16th 2018

  As a country we have come to a point of no return.  If we are ever going to be bold and politically courageous, the time is now.  The socio-economic crisis in which people live is becoming worse every day.  Millions of South African families are struggling to put food on the table.  The line…
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Public comment on the Report by Panel on the review of the current list of zero-rated VAT items.

    PMBEJD’s comment on the Panel Report on VAT:  The scope given to the panel to deal with the VAT increase seems to have been too narrow to deal with the crux of the affordability problem facing millions of South African families.  The heart of the problem is the low wage and low social…
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