I hate the end of the month in South Africa, not the 15th of the month, which is a month end for most government employees, but the dates 25 to 30/31 or in this month 28 of each month.
25 is mostly for those working in the mines and 30/31 is for the rest of those employed in other sectors. I hate it because of what it does to my fellow country men in their frantic search for money saving bargains and the endless need to have hard cash in their hands. What I hate the most is that most are broke two day after payday.
This is what I experienced while living in Rustenburg for three years, where mine workers are so over indebted to the point that by day two after payday, they are already at the doors of loan sharks that are scattered around the town and those informal ones in the living quarters, villages and townships.
It pains my to see how a hard working black men have nothing valuable to show at the end of their service life because of the constant chase of booze, fancy cars, designer clothes, private schools, latest smart phones, black tax which by the way is the long term legacy of the poor management systems of both the previous and the present government policy implementations, if you don’t know what I am talking about, ask any black person with a job and a poor family background, and everything else that do not give them that comfortable old age lifestyle.
It is really painful to see how poorer they become with each day they wake up and give their lives to the other men for him to become far more richer than is he could count. It pains me to see how the single mothers of some of those men’s children queue for hours to receive a small piece of the tax that these hard working poor men had paid. YES the rich also pay tax and I really hate those that have found the back doors to not paying tax.
No one likes paying tax but the only honest way to not pay it is to die. The end of the month brings with it the rush to comply with the politics of our stomachs and also the means of how we are going to numb the agonizing thoughts of waking up each day just to get that temporary high of the balance in our bank accounts of numbers that are more than two digits reflected in them.
But worse of all these is those people with two items breathing over your head in line at the super market at this very time of the month, as if you don’t have anything better to do except wait in that long queue with you over flowing trolley. You turn around and looked at what they are in such a hurry to pay for, and it is a bottle of soda and a chocolate bar, really… and you are here breathing like a lion giving birth.
The only reminder I have in my house that it is month end is the envelop on my TV screen from my pay-tv service provider, I really avoid the rush as I am afraid of crowded places, this is made worse by my claustrophobia. My father taught me that I only buy things that my pocket can afford with his way of paying cash for what he wanted and had planned for, for months. I do the same with my groceries, I buy what I know I need for the whole month without bothering with where they say it might cost me 50c less.
The shop hopping for me makes no logic, as I see it to be more time consuming and money wasting to get into a taxi just to go get a 50c off from something I know I really need like roll on. The amount of petrol and waiting in that queue just does not add up for me I am sorry.
But for now all I can do is have hope that my two year old nephew will know better by the time he gets to know experience the high of payday and the meaning of paying tax.