Access-A-Hut's Blog

December 2, 2011

We walked barefoot, in the snow, uphill both ways…and we had it easy!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 1:47 am

The maids walk an hour to work, and they say they are very lucky to live so close.  They wear shoes for their walk, and then they work barefoot, because shoes are so expensive, and the ground here is treated cement or grass–easy to walk on.  The maids are from Zimbabwe, and I get the idea that this is the same as having Mexican workers for us–South Africa is seen as the land of opportunity.   So they get here, live in “informal housing” (read shacks made out of cardboard sitting in dank flood plains) and work for less than the minimum wage.  The minimum wage is 2,000 rand a month–$240 a month. (Old age pensioners and the disabled get about half that).  And, usually, there is only one person lucky enough to have a job or a pension within a family unit–so maybe 10 to 15 people are living on that single salary.  Plus, the townships and informal places are miles and miles and hours and hours away from town, so you pay half your salary –and spend 4 hours a day–just on the commute!!!

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