'Someone always blesses me'

How a single mum manages a household of nine on $100 a week.

An illustration of a woman standing behind a table that has a large receipt as a table cloth with 9 empty plates apart from one that has a sandwich on it.
[Jawahir Al-Naimi and Muaz Kory/Al Jazeera]
[Jawahir Al-Naimi and Muaz Kory/Al Jazeera]

What's your money worth? A series from the front line of the cost of living crisis, where people who have been hit hard share their monthly expenses.

Name: Mavis Namba

Age: 53

Occupation: Hairdresser’s assistant

Lives with: Her son Ntsikelo (19), daughter Bongiwe (24), mother Sylvia (75), brother Vuyo (47), and nieces, Hazel (30), Lethe (17), Ahkani (14), and Kwanele (10). They are nine in total and single mother Mavis is the only breadwinner in the home.

Lives in: A low-rent government-owned house in Gugulethu, a township on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. Mavis shares the 40-square-metre, two-bedroom brick house with her extended family. There is only one outside toilet and no water heater which means they do not have hot water and must boil water on the stove to bathe.

Monthly household income: Since February 2023, Mavis works full-time and earns 1,900 South African rand ($104) per week. This amounts to $416 a month. Mavis’s ailing mother gets a state pension of 1,650 rand ($90) a month. Mavis does not have any savings.

Total expenses for the month: 6,560 rand ($360)

Source: Al Jazeera