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Consumers beware: As April kicks off, so do a number of price hikes

by , 31 March 2015

From tomorrow, the cost of living is going to start to climb.

At midnight tonight, the price at the pumps is rising sharply. Some electricity customers will also be coughing up significantly more for power.

And more price hikes are due to filter through over the next few months.

Let's take a closer look at what's going on and what impact it could have on South Africa's ailing economy…

Fuel and electricity prices are on the rise

Come midnight, a litre of petrol is rising by up to R1.62. The sharp rise in fuel prices for April is two-fold…

Firstly, the budget at the end of February revealed an 80.5c rise in fuel levies, which are now coming into effect. And thanks to a rising oil price and weak rand, the fuel price itself is also rising.

No doubt this will mean very busy petrol stations tonight.

But that isn’t the only hike on the cards for April.

From midnight, direct customers of Eskom will see their bills rising 12.69% as the new tariff comes into effect. And municipality customers will see an increase of 14.25% at the beginning of July.

The new tax increases announced in the budget “for those earning more than R500,000 per annum” also kick in tomorrow, reports the SABC.

Tougher times lies ahead for consumers and the economy

Kevin Lings, the senior chief economist at Stanlib, warns that “consumers should brace for tough economic times,” says iAfrica.

Pan African’s chief economist Iraj Abedian, says the “increases will impact on GDP growth this year,” adds the SABC. With many paying more in tax and then spending on the rise, it’s “not good for promoting growth in the economy and will reduce consumer spending as well as confidence”.

And of course, with costs such as electricity and petrol on the rise, it’s surely just a matter of time before this filters through to inflation.

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Consumers beware: As April kicks off, so do a number of price hikes
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