‘Black tax’ was the focus of research done by Mr Scelo Manyoni for his Masters in Development Studies degree.‘Black tax’ is income black professionals give to their families to help support them.
Manyoni researched the ‘family obligation’ in black households and familial intergenerational support and also examined the experience of students and whether they identified it as burdensome or an ethical imperative (Ubuntu).
Addressing misconceptions about ‘black tax’ he said: ‘You need to understand family obligation in terms of where it begins and ends as it adds value to individuals’ lives. I found that intergeneration support or family obligation is considered an ancient practice that has somehow become entrenched as a tradition that is passed down from one generation to another to keep families intact.’
He said it was felt that both Ubuntu and family obligation as a practice were important to help lift individuals out of poverty. ‘Some folk are convinced that they are closing the inequality gap widened by the apartheid regime. During my research, I realised there is more to black tax and family obligation than just financial support.’
Manyoni plans to pursue his PhD but wants to first establish his company, Stavi Enterprise (Pty) Ltd.