cooking and cleaning R 162 6%
food R 887 35%
rent R 170 7%
toiletries R 90 4%
toys R 50 2%
transport R 1 192 47%
Grand Total R 2 551 100%
Date Description Amount Running total
13-Jul 2X5l Paraffin R 117.15 R 117.15
13-Jul Sunlight Soap R 7.99 R 125.14
24-Jul macaroni pasta R 6.99 R 132.13
24-Jul nappies (40) R 39.98 R 172.11
24-Jul beans R 10.99 R 183.10
24-Jul lentils R 9.99 R 193.09
24-Jul tin beans R 5.99 R 199.08
24-Jul spaghetti *3 R 20.97 R 220.05
24-Jul 5kg brown flour R 36.99 R 257.04
24-Jul stock cubes R 7.98 R 265.02
24-Jul rice R 12.99 R 278.01
24-Jul soup mix *2 R 7.99 R 286.00
24-Jul pilchards R 11.99 R 297.99
24-Jul yeast*3 R 6.87 R 304.86
24-Jul split peas R 11.99 R 316.85
24-Jul matches R 3.99 R 320.84
24-Jul sunflower oil R 11.99 R 332.83
24-Jul soup packet R 2.99 R 335.82
04-Aug rent R 170.00 R 505.82
04-Aug Bread R 9.99 R 515.81
04-Aug Butternut 3kg R 26.99 R 542.80
04-Aug Jungle Oats R 19.99 R 562.79
04-Aug onions R 9.29 R 572.08
04-Aug oranges R 14.99 R 587.07
04-Aug potatoes R 39.99 R 627.06
04-Aug soup pack veggies R 9.99 R 637.05
04-Aug sweet potato R 5.32 R 642.37
04-Aug tomatoes R 10.00 R 652.37
04-Aug taxi R 28.00 R 680.37
05-Aug taxi R 78.00 R 758.37
06-Aug Bus R 52.00 R 810.37
07-Aug Taxi R 80.00 R 890.37
08-Aug Bus R 11.00 R 901.37
08-Aug Gautrein R 80.00 R 981.37
08-Aug Metrorail R 6.00 R 987.37
08-Aug Taxi home R 28.00 R 1 015.37
08-Aug Bananas R 2.00 R 1 017.37
09-Aug pilchards R 15.00 R 1 032.37
09-Aug bread R 10.00 R 1 042.37
09-Aug Soup Mix R 4.00 R 1 046.37
09-Aug tomatoes R 3.00 R 1 049.37
09-Aug Carrots R 3.00 R 1 052.37
09-Aug Bananas R 6.00 R 1 058.37
10-Aug Kiddies wire cars R 50.00 R 1 108.37
10-Aug Bananas R 6.00 R 1 114.37
12-Aug taxi R 28.00 R 1 142.37
12-Aug Deodorant R 11.99 R 1 154.36
12-Aug Conditioner R 15.00 R 1 169.36
12-Aug Petroleum Jelly R 8.00 R 1 177.36
12-Aug Pineapple R 8.99 R 1 186.35
12-Aug Soya Mince R 11.00 R 1 197.35
12-Aug Chicken breasts R 28.00 R 1 225.35
12-Aug Jungle Oats R 22.00 R 1 247.35
12-Aug Milk sachet R 8.49 R 1 255.84
12-Aug Veggie soup pack R 11.00 R 1 266.84
12-Aug tomatoes R 5.00 R 1 271.84
12-Aug Peanuts R 3.00 R 1 274.84
13-Aug Taxi R 56.00 R 1 330.84
13-Aug Peanuts R 6.00 R 1 336.84
13-Aug Oranges R 15.00 R 1 351.84
14-Aug Taxi R 28.00 R 1 379.84
14-Aug Bread R 10.00 R 1 389.84
14-Aug Sugar R 8.00 R 1 397.84
14-Aug Tomatoes R 5.00 R 1 402.84
14-Aug Onions R 5.00 R 1 407.84
14-Aug Cookies R 2.00 R 1 409.84
15-Aug Metrorail R 6.00 R 1 415.84
15-Aug Gautrein R 80.00 R 1 495.84
15-Aug taxi R 14.00 R 1 509.84
16-Aug pilchards R 15.00 R 1 524.84
16-Aug taxi R 14.00 R 1 538.84
17-Aug taxi R 28.00 R 1 566.84
18-Aug eggs R 7.50 R 1 574.34
18-Aug baked beans R 6.50 R 1 580.84
19-Aug Taxi R 56.00 R 1 636.84
19-Aug Dried fish R 5.00 R 1 641.84
19-Aug Beetroot R 5.00 R 1 646.84
19-Aug Carrots R 5.00 R 1 651.84
19-Aug Beans R 5.00 R 1 656.84
19-Aug Bananas R 4.50 R 1 661.34
19-Aug Peanuts R 3.00 R 1 664.34
19-Aug Hair cut and shave R 20.00 R 1 684.34
19-Aug Oats R 20.00 R 1 704.34
19-Aug Bread R 5.50 R 1 709.84
19-Aug macaroni pasta R 10.00 R 1 719.84
19-Aug Peanut Butter R 24.00 R 1 743.84
19-Aug Sepahtla R 12.00 R 1 755.84
20-Aug Taxi R 56.00 R 1 811.84
20-Aug Bananas R 4.00 R 1 815.84
20-Aug Mopane worms R 5.00 R 1 820.84
20-Aug Spinach R 5.00 R 1 825.84
20-Aug tomatoes R 5.00 R 1 830.84
20-Aug Avos R 10.00 R 1 840.84
21-Aug Taxi R 28.00 R 1 868.84
21-Aug Broom R 5.00 R 1 873.84
21-Aug pilchards R 15.00 R 1 888.84
21-Aug Mielie pap R 10.00 R 1 898.84
21-Aug Peanuts and raisins R 4.50 R 1 903.34
21-Aug tomatoes R 5.00 R 1 908.34
21-Aug onions R 5.00 R 1 913.34
21-Aug green peppers R 3.00 R 1 916.34
21-Aug sugar cane R 5.00 R 1 921.34
21-Aug taxi R 56.00 R 1 977.34
22-Aug taxi R 14.00 R 1 991.34
22-Aug Gautrein R 80.00 R 2 071.34
22-Aug Metrorail R 12.00 R 2 083.34
22-Aug apples R 3.00 R 2 086.34
22-Aug peanuts R 3.00 R 2 089.34
22-Aug Bread R 5.50 R 2 094.84
22-Aug taxi R 56.00 R 2 150.84
22-Aug Soya Mince R 10.00 R 2 160.84
23-Aug Eggs (6) R 7.20 R 2 168.04
23-Aug Sphaltlo R 12.00 R 2 180.04
23-Aug Beer R 12.00 R 2 192.04
24-Aug Sunlight Soap R 7.00 R 2 199.04
24-Aug Oil R 9.00 R 2 208.04
24-Aug tomatoes R 5.00 R 2 213.04
24-Aug onions R 5.00 R 2 218.04
24-Aug beetroot R 5.00 R 2 223.04
24-Aug carrots R 5.00 R 2 228.04
24-Aug Bananas R 4.00 R 2 232.04
24-Aug apples R 2.00 R 2 234.04
24-Aug Pineapple R 3.00 R 2 237.04
24-Aug green peppers R 3.00 R 2 240.04
24-Aug potatoes R 5.00 R 2 245.04
25-Aug pilchards R 15.00 R 2 260.04
25-Aug baked beans R 10.00 R 2 270.04
25-Aug Sunlight Soap R 7.00 R 2 277.04
25-Aug Bread R 5.50 R 2 282.54
25-Aug Oats R 20.00 R 2 302.54
25-Aug Yeast R 3.00 R 2 305.54
26-Aug Taxi R 70.00 R 2 375.54
26-Aug Maguena (vetkoek) R 5.00 R 2 380.54
26-Aug Tomatoes R 5.00 R 2 385.54
26-Aug apples R 3.00 R 2 388.54
26-Aug Bananas R 3.00 R 2 391.54
27-Aug Taxi R 42.00 R 2 433.54
27-Aug Avocado R 3.00 R 2 436.54
28-Aug Taxi R 42.00 R 2 478.54
29-Aug Gautrein R 43.00 R 2 521.54
29-Aug Metro rail R 6.00 R 2 527.54
29-Aug baked beans R 6.50 R 2 534.04
30-Aug Cookies R 3.00 R 2 537.04
30-Aug Taxi R 14.00 R 2 551.04


  1. The prices seem really expensive. It reminds me of an article by C.K. Prahalad written for Harvard Business School called The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. In it he argues that the poor pay on average 2.6 times more than the rich for the same products (the poverty penalty). This article was of course written many years ago and there has been a lot of work since then at developing supply chains to those in marginalized communities. Perhaps as part of this process you should price all the products you buy at Shopright/ Checkers and at Pick and Pay in your home suburb so that you can compare what you have spent and determine what the poverty penalty is. It will also be interesting to compare the transport costs. They also seem particularly high. All of the products you have mentioned above can be bought at a lower price in Hillbrow by the way…

  2. Tatenda says:

    Echoing Nigel’s sentiments…there surely is a poverty penalty imposed on the less fortunate. Some living in townships can’t afford to travel to the “Shoprites and Pick n’ Pays” to do regular shopping and therefore buy from spaza shops. though spaza shops might have the products required, the markups on the products required by the locals are often high.

    as an example, you might find a small bottle of Sunlight liquid retailing for R15 yet if you were to get a 750ml bottle in Shoprite you could get it for R19. I would be interested in getting access to the comparison of prices of the items on your list as pointed out by Nigel.

  3. Verity says:

    I love the conditioner 🙂

  4. Pinky says:

    I just saw the etv report on your one month stay in Mamelodi. Please rich white South Africa be pretentious if this is what it is. This family has chosen to uproot their very small children and move to Mamelodi to live in a shack in the dead of winter! Pretentious, I don’t think so. The shack has no heating, no indoor plumbing, where is pretentious in that? They are better human beings for actually wanting to know. Know what other human beings go through. Those people that wash your clothes, cook your food, watch you children – they are human beings and their lives are no less important than of those who live in mansions in Sandton. One month out of their lives in those conditions is a lifetime! When I see things like this I am proud to be a South African and proud to be a human being! Their children will be better people because their parents cared!!

    • Ntombi Gama says:

      Totally agree with you. You can only help someone when you truely know what they are going through! Big up to the whole family and may God continue to bless you in all that you do!

  5. Andre says:

    As a source of protein I would suggest you buy canned pilchards.
    Canned pilchards are the best source of protein for various reasons. Some of these benefits include that it has already been cooked in the can, so you only need to heat up- no need to cook as you would need to do for raw chicken or meat in order to kill bacteria/salmonella. The other inherent benefit is that pilchards contain Omega 3, which is essential for you kids brain development and concentration at school. There is another benefit of the fact that the pilchards come in a sauce so you do not need to buy additional flavoring. If the thought of eating pilchards are too great then mash it up and use it as a substitute for mince and blended with other products. For example. try making a fishermans pie, with canned pilchards as mince, can of vegtables for mix, and smash as potato topping. – little heat required other than boiling water for smash & vegies, and warming up pilchards. You can eat the bones of pilchards, they contain phospholypids which are very good for you, so no wastage! Lastly, you know what you are getting with canned product. Unlike with frozen or fresh produce that has an allowable amount of water that can be added to weight, the Net weight of canned pilchards is regulated so you can be certain that your money is buying you that amount stated weight of fish(protein) each and everytime. I eat only Sea Pride pilchards, and if I cant get Sea Pride then I eat the retailers no-name brand, as both are excellent quality and better priced.

  6. There is still other expenses forgotten here, clothing, school uniforms, shoes, blankets, sending money to parents, going to funerals in Eastern Cape and burial societies if any. Again its just the thought that counts.

  7. AndrewS says:

    The harsh realities of being poor in S.A. No matter who says what, the S.A govt has failed its people, after experiencing the harsh apartheid times, no 1 should be allowed to live in such extreme conditions in our country. anyway,thanks to the Hewitts,many of us will take lessons from this experience.

  8. Shiweshi says:

    Have been recently inspired by Brightest Young Minds, now to think that Julian is the brain behind the organisation is humbling…more so in reading this story. I’m black, never lived in a shack, cannot imagine myself there…too ashamed of myself. You have shown the world something we don’t experience daily. May God bless you, your wife and your gorgeous girls. I bless you with good health, to finish strong what you started.

    As a mom, I’m sooo proud of Ena and the girls…

  9. Joyce says:

    Pretty amazing! Just goes to show thatthere is nothing greater than love. Wouldn’t it be great if more of us can do this?

  10. Thabo Maleka says:

    I am really inspired by what you are doing. If you guys are struggling to get by with R3K, what about the people who earn less than R2K and have families.
    Eg: my mom earns R1500k and she has 2 children to support.

    I hope that this will be an eye opener for the rest of the country.

    Thank you very much.

  11. Joyce says:

    I so wish your kids were a little older coz they would have had a better understanding. I also hope that you will now pay your domestic worker much more.

  12. Peter Munnings says:

    wow – 40% of your budget has gone on transport. That’s huge

  13. Marion says:

    This is amazing… all the best…for the negative people… do not judge.. will you do this?

  14. steve says:

    Your family are an inspiration to us all. I remember a South Africa in 1994/5 that could challenge any situation a find a simple answer to it. That South African spirit needs to be egnited again.

    I somehow think what your family is doing maybe that spark it to start it up again. I feel us who are above the average income eraners need to do A LOT more for OUR less fortunate.

  15. Silvester says:

    Julian and Ena you guys rock, After i listened to your story at Kaya fm this morning i was overwhelm, It really made me think of how much we have forgotten about the spirit of Ubuntu and caught up in our own comfort zones. Your story revels the most important things that we have set aside and ignored them, most importantly it remind us where we are heading as country.I hope this could be revelation to all South African, black or white that we need to do more than what we are doing to bring change.

  16. Nomsa says:

    Julian and Ena, your love for the people is great, first by taking it upon yourselves to understand the dynamics of the living conditions of your housekeeper, then wanting to be part of her everyday life and the community she lives with. This was just a glimpse of what is happening in SA. Whether you live in a shack or proper house, the lifestyle is the same. I also wonder when will a BLACK person in particular be liberated. The hardship people find themselves lately is so so so heartbreaking, the rate of jobless people is beyond ones thinking. When will the pride and lives of people be restored. Very soon we will see the rise of food and all the necessities before December, before you know it January is at our doorsteps, when will people get a BREAK. I wish to see a day where our Mothers and Fathers, will not worry about food, transport and etc and just have a situation where we all have enough to get by. We grew up in this situation and little has changed because of UNEMPLOYMENT. I am sure if people were working our economony would flourishing SA would be the best place to live in. Julian, here is a Multi level Marketing network which was launched recently and really if people could come on board and make things happen for themselves and support one another and reach out we will see change in our lives. The name of the network is INKULULEKO YABANTU. The company is registered and legitimate. To sign up is R170. The products are bank card, food voucher, airtime, electricity and holidays. If the community works together we will see change in our lives and our generation to come. Please free to contact me at 076 017 7289 Nomsa to discuss further. This is seriously a worthy cause because there is no age limit even kids as young as they can be can benefit towards Educational savings. Whether you are working or not you can be part of this Revolution – Inkululeko. How would you like an idea of not paying for your groceries with your money. All this is possible through working together. Come South Africa lets do INKULULEKO YABANTU. Website is http://www.inkululeko.biz. Regards Nomsa 076 017 7289

  17. Val Ross says:

    When I first saw the headline on the article about your family in a magazine I thought ” Oh here we go again, another privileged family slums it for a month for publicity ” Well, I have to say, I was forced to eat humble pie. I really get the feeling that this was a genuine attempt to fully understand how most people really live.

    I think if we all really understood this on a real level and if those of us better off were prepared to all do with a bit less so that others can have so much more, we would all be much better off!

    How can poor people be expected to escape the poverty trap? How can you afford to give your kids and yourselves for that matter a better education when you can’t even afford to get to work? I don’t think it is easy to imagine the harsh reality of living on the breadline.

    Thank you for what you did and I really think that you have given a lot of people serious food for thought!!

    It is time for us as individuals to do the right thing, because it is the right thing.

  18. Leon says:

    No airtime? 🙂

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