A secret anguish for some, a proud responsibility for others, black tax draws heated and wide-ranging reactions. While the debate rages, these payments and other forms of support to family members remain a daily reality for many black South Africans. Black tax has its historical roots in the inequalities created by apartheid and the loss of land. Consequently, thousands of black South Africans still live in poverty today. Some believe black tax is an undeniable part of black culture and part of the philosophy of ubuntu.
Others feel they should not have to take over what is essentially a government responsibility and should be allowed to focus on building their own wealth. In this book, award-winning author Niq Mhlongo has brought together deeply personal stories that tease apart a multitude of thought-provoking perceptions on black tax by well-known writers, such as Dudu Busani-Dube, Sifiso Mzobe, Fred Khumalo, Mohale Mashigo, Thanduxolo Jika and many other new voices.
The stories cover an engrossing cross-section of experiences, ranging from the student who diverts bursary money to put food on the table back home, family members who make outrageous demands on individuals often resulting in debt to look after their families, to people who are happy to open their homes to provide shelter to jobseekers or the downtrodden. In giving voice to the many different perspectives on this topical issue, this book hopes to start a dialogue about this undeniable part of the lived reality of black South Africans.