Consumers in for various price hikes

EXPERTS have warned consum­ers to dig deeper into their pockets as the price of essential food items are set to increase.
The price of red meat is expected to increase by more than 50% due to several factors, including drought.
The expected increase will leave many consumers struggling as food, electricity, interest rates and others items have been rising in recent months.
Neil Roets, CEO of debt man­agement firm Debt Rescue, said the poor of the poorest would be hardest hit.
“The prolonged drought is the major factor but there are other factors at play such as the massive increase in the price of maize which is the staple food for fattening beef before going to the market. We are on the eve of a perfect storm which is going to affect everybody but especially the poorest of the poor who spend more than 50% on food,” he said.
Roets said consumers should prepare themselves for an increase in the petrol price which in turn will have a knock-on effect on the prices of all other commodities.
It is estimated that more than 10 million consumers are three months or more in arrears with their credit accounts. Roets said there was an increase in the num­ber of consumers battling debt who were going under review at his company.
“Debt counselling remains the best way for consumers to manage their debt load by negotiating with creditors and paying off their debt in smaller instalments over a longer period of time. None of their assets may be attached by debt collectors while they are under debt review,” he said.
The price of milk is expected to rise at the start of May due to elec­tricity price hikes which came into effect at the start of April.

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