Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jobs in South Africa

Today Kaia is working as a gardner for our Indian landlords, Edward and Lalita.  Kaia takes care of the church garden so we nominated him to replace their previous gardner.  When he started receiving social security he stopped showing up to work.  So before we went to P.E. on we told Lalita that we knew someone who would do a good job.  So she interviewed Kaya, hired him and he started working today.  He came at 8:00 a.m. and just left at 5:00 p.m. She asked how much to pay him.  I suggested 100 rand (or about $8.50) a day.  She said  that as she always provided two meals she would offer him 90 rand per day. I said that she and Kaia would have to sort that out as the owner of a laundry she knows more about wages in Grahamstown than I do.  Currently the farm workers in the Eastern Cape are striking for more money as I write.  They have been getting 70 rand per day and are asking for 150 per day.  We pay Jessica, our P.E. maid, 100 rand a day plus 20 for her bus fair.  We usually send her off with a sack of potatoes or other food as well.  Jessica works from 8:00 until 2:00 p.m.  It amazes me how little gardeners, domestics, and farm workers are paid. Still there is lots of unemployment and it's very hard for a person to find a job.  

Alan told us about a black man who worked on theThomas farm.  He earned very little.  Certainly not enough to support his wife and two daughters.  Alan said that when the family came to Grahamstown the man was always asking for a loan which he never paid back.  Sister Audery brought this family to church and they were all baptised.  The man was a very effective Elder's Quorum President until he was convicted of rape and thrown into jail.  His wife and daughters were then kicked off the farm.  They now live in a township shack near her parents home.  Alan suggested that some of the priesthood brethren might visit in jail as they had done a few months ago.   Alan did not know what motivated the rape as this man has a pretty wife and two little girls ages 4 and 6.  President Nye and some of the other branch members took cardboard and cow dung out to to the township and repaired the wife's shack.   Farm workers in the Eastern Cape are currently on strike.  They want their wages raised from 70 rand to 150 rand a day.    The farmers contend that 70 rand plus the food and lodging is more than fair.

At correlation meeting last night Elder Stokoe was asked to visit the dying father of Elder Sibabalwe Ngqoyiya.  Siba's girlfriend confided that Elder Ngqoyiya had asked not be informed about any family problems that arise while he is serving his mission in Uganda.  (His family are not members.)   But Siba's mother has asked his girlfriend that she write and tell him that his dad has been in the hospital in P.E. since December 23  and will probably die.  When we visited this family back in December, I asked the mother if she had heard from her missionary son?  She indicated that he does not write often. I do not know what this is about as the grandmothers of the other two receive photos and letters on a regular basis and are proud of their elders.  Unlike the other two, Elder Siba's family live in a beautiful, well furnished western home while the others live in humble shacks.  We are looking forward to the blessings of little Annebelle Jane Stokoe, our newest grand daughter.    Love and Blessings,  Mom

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