Just as South African consumers begin to get comfortable with their new 2019 budgets, more bad news is thrown their way. In a struggling economy, coupled with disruptive load shedding, these price increases come at a bad time.
This week we see new fuel taxes being implemented as well as a rise in electricity prices. In the private sector we see services such as DSTV announce new price hikes.
Fuel Price Increase
The unleaded petrol price will be going up by R1.26 per litre. The knock-on effects of this are wide reaching. Petrol price increases can affect consumers in a number of ways. This varies from transport cost increases for getting to and from work, as well as increases in the cost of general goods.
Consumers will have to budget for these price hikes and keep an eye on their grocery bills. The main reason for this increase is the introduction of new fuel taxes by government.
Electricity Price Increase
Eskom was granted a price hike at the start of March which caters for increase of 25% over 3 years. BusinessTech reports:
On top of the price hike, Nersa also previously granted Eskom permission to recover R7.8 billion through a Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) application, which will see a further 4.4% added to the total over the period.
With the RCA included, the total price hike for electricity from April will see consumers paying just under 14% more for electricity from this month.
This will take the average price of electricity from 93.8 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) to 106.8 cents per kWh.
Due to the drought, certain provinces have already experienced large water bill increases over the past few years. With this added pressure of rising electricity costs, households total utility costs continue to grow.
Consumers will also feel the pinch of increasing sin and sugar taxes.
Delivering his budget, Mboweni said with a 12 cents increase, there will now be a R1.74 excise duty increase on a can of beer.
Other increases include:
A 750ml bottle of wine will have an excise duty of R3.15, which is 22 cents more;
The duty on a 750ml bottle of sparkling wine goes up by 84 cents to R10.16;
The duty on a bottle of whiskey will go up by R4.54 to R65.84;
A pack of 20 cigarettes goes up by R1.14 cents to R16.66; and
The excise duty on a typical cigar will go up by about 64 cents to R7.80.
Often seen as a luxury expense, DSTV dishes can still be seen on the roofs of many South Africans. Although the premium package price goes ahead unchanged, most of the other packages see an increase in cost.
How To Survive All Of These Increases
Here are Vantage’s top tips to see you through these price increases and remain on top of your household finances:
- Add some fat to your budget to account for price increases
- Keep track of all monthly living costs
- Try carpool/share lifts to work and better plan car/bus trips
- Turn off unnecessary lights in your house at night
- Have a shorter bath or shower
- Cut out all unnecessary monthly subscriptions
- Try buy in bulk where possible
- Don’t go shopping without a strict shopping list
- Use cash instead of debt for purchases