Later, when I bought my new SQL Server I was able to use the minerd program to do "mining" with a "mining pool", and thereby earn further LTC.
CoinHuntr mining pool, and have been earning a small trickle of currency since April 2013. Unlike Bitcoin, where you need custom hardware to do "mining", Litecoin uses a "memory hard" algorithm that allows ordinary hardware to stand a chance of successfully mining coins.
More recently I heard that PayFast, the payment gateway for www.bookdealers.co.za (and thousands of other online stores), was able to accept payment in Bitcoin. While investigating this for Bookdealers, I discovered they use the bitx.co.za exchange. That was the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle, and finally allowed me to convert my LTC via BTC to ZAR, i.e. turn some of my Litecoins into local currency. Finally I had a means to splash out on a smartphone without spending grocery money.
Kalahari.com has been adertising their Gobii Android smartphones starting at R999, but when I wanted to actually buy one there wasn't any stock. So I looked at the Hisense HS-U970 "dual sim" smart phone instead, since it was only R1,999 and the Gobii 4.5" phone was R1,699. The Hisense phone is slightly bigger, with a faster processor and bigger battery, so it looked like a good deal.
Update Friday 29 August: The refund came through from Kalahari, and I bought a replacement HS-U970 from the M-Web store in Cresta. This one seems to be working, and I'll post a review in a week or so