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When people with much wealth bargain with other people who have so little and have spent hours, days or even weeks creating something beautiful or functional. The wealthy brag about ‘good deals’ as they drive off in their expensive cars – to save a few hundred rand, but to lose a part of the soul and hurt someone else’s in the process.

When the ‘norm’ is twisted

When a petrol attendant makes a mistake and fills a tank with unleaded instead of diesl and the customer has their vehicle fixed and the petrol station owner takes the R8000 off the measly salary for two years after the incident. When I make a mistake at work, my company absorbs it. But if you are already poor, that is not the case.

When the ‘norm’ is twisted

When a child has to walk in the dark down a street in the middle of the night to get to a communal toilet because there is no sanitation in his home and women are raped going to relieve themselves. And it is not seen as a national crisis that people have no toilets.

When the ‘norm’ is twisted

When the police kick down the door of a poor woman’s home in search of a suspect who is not there and she spends a year paying off the R5000 loan she got from her employer to have her doors fixed so she was safe that night. The person who least can afford it ends up paying the price. No influence means no power to get the police to pay it back. She knows there is no point even trying.

When the ‘norm’ is twisted

When domestic workers are paid the ‘normal’ rate by people who can afford so much more simply because it is the ‘normal’ going rate, in spite of the added value the person makes to the daily lives of those who can afford it. And in spite of the high price the ‘unseen’ family pay for this exploitation.

When the ‘norm’ is twisted
When is the ‘norm’ twisted?

What are the ‘norms’ that we accept in our daily lives that are absurd if we stopped and thought about them? What price do other human beings pay for the ‘norms’ that are based on inequality, pride, greed, materialism and capitalistic notions of ‘labour’ as commodities instead of human beings as neighbours. And who pays the price? It may the poor for some time, but, in the end, we all pay the price.

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