Top of the Vox: Surviving on a state pension

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    “The groceries I manage to buy with pension money do not last us to the end of the month. We then survive on the mercy of neighbours who give us food. It is painful living from hand to mouth; it is worse when even that money is not enough.”

    While our elected representatives have been jockeying for position in Parliament this week, ordinary South Africans continue with their daily struggles. Imagine living on R1,380 a month? For the Magubane family in KwaMashu, this is a reality. Zimasa Matiwane found out what it takes to survive on a state pension. 

    Must-read, this week
    The State of the Nation Address last week was only the beginning of the fun and games of this session of Parliament. On Tuesday, DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane called President Jacob Zuma a “broken man” in a speech that rocked the House. But JZ hit back with some powerful off-the-cuff comments on Thursday. And lest we lose sight of the securocrats’ increasing influence in Parliament – and public life – Murray Hunter has the crib notes.

    Don’t miss
    Sick and tired of African literature being ghettoised into its own, pitifully small section? We suggest a visit to African Flavour Books in Vanderbijlpark. But first, let Pontsho Pilane introduce you to the little bookshop that stocks 80% African literature.

    Toon of the week: Everyone is sorry and no one is a cockroach
    iM Sorry [totv]
    Weekend special
    Sure, South Africa may have some of the best laws in the world when it comes to LGBTI rights, but these don’t necessarily translate into a better lived experienced. Bongiwe Tutu spoke to a transgender student about the difficulties of living in male res.

    Hang out with the Daily Vox and Mmusi Maimane
    The Daily Vox will be hosting a Google hangout with Democratic Alliance Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane on Tuesday 27 February at 10am, sharp. Do you have any questions to ask Maimane, about *that* speech or DA policy in general? Send them through and we’ll select the best ones to throw at him. To join the hangout, keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter accounts on Monday and we’ll direct you to the URL.

    The week ahead
    We’ll continue our focus on amplifying the voices you don’t usually hear and also keep tabs on this session of Parliament. And, of course, the Proteas’ journey to cricket World Cup glory continues. Their next match is against India on Sunday (5.30am local time) – and here are three reasons why we’re assured of victory (Spoiler: one of them is Hash’s beard!). If you have tips on these – or any other stories you’d like to see covered – please do share with us.

    To receive The Daily Vox’s Top of the Vox – a weekly round-up of our favourite stories curated by assistant editor Theresa Mallinson – direct in your inbox every Friday morning, sign up here; you know you want to! You can find previous editions here.

    – Featured image: By Safiyyah Patel.