Your first job will not pay you very well, and transport costs can be a huge expense. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to find work close to where you live. But you are not alone - nearly 25% of young people in South Africa said they could not afford the transport costs associated with looking for work.


Remember, you can only increase your chances of getting a better paying job by getting longer work experience. Everybody needs to start somewhere. Even DJ Black Coffee first started off as being a backup singer before he became a famous international DJ.


Tips to deal with high transport costs:

  • Look for job opportunities close to where you live.

  • Budget for high transport costs. Calculate how much of your income/salary you will spend on transportation. If you plan to travel to work using public transportation (train, bus or taxi), consider the daily, weekly and monthly costs of each option. Remember there are weekly and monthly tickets for the bus and train, which will work out cheaper than paying a single ticket each day.

  • Look at your cheapest and shortest route options to work but consider the time each option takes for you to get to work on time.

  • Consider biking to work if it is safe and not too far from work.

  • If you have to drop your child at a daycare, pick a Day Care that is on your way to work.

  • Inform your employer of where you live and how long it takes you to get to work.

  • Find out if anyone in your community works in the same area as you do. Perhaps you can work together to share costs.


JobStarter’s Numeracy course can help you find out more on how to budget. Try it under the GET READY section.


Hard work will pay off in the end; it just takes time. Don’t let transport costs get in your way of success.