Calculating a Living Wage

Calculating a Living Wage

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There are various ways to calculate a Living Wage [6].  Consider that people need to earn enough to:

  • pay rent for a home [7]
  • buy fuel for cooking and soap for cleaning
  • pay fees / fares to attend school and get to work
  • buy clothes to keep them warm in the winter and cool in summer
  • buy an amount of food which they need to stay healthy, i.e 2400 cal  [8]

If you employ a Domestic Worker, following this link will help you calculate what a living wage for your employee(s) would be.




[5] Read more:


[7] If one took a house of 55m2 costing around R250,000, the minimum recommended as a more acceptable standard for South Africa’s social and cultural needs by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (1982), hen a housing based living wage would equate to +_R8,000 per month.

[8] (assuming 31 days per month)1,811.30 R Milk (regular), (0.25 liter)3.00 R; Loaf of Fresh White Bread (150.00 g)3.33; Rice (white), (0.10 kg)1.68; Eggs (3.60)6.29; Local Cheese (0.10 kg)7.89; Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (0.25 kg)14.47; Apples (0.35 kg)6.19; Oranges (0.35 kg)5.39; Tomato (0.25 kg)4.03; Potato (0.30 kg)3.93; Lettuce (0.20 head)2.22

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