THE rise in electricity tariffs and an almost certain rate hike by the Reserve Bank later in the year were going to have a devastating impact on consumers, the chief executive of Debt Rescue, Neil Roets, said yesterday
“The present combination of economic factors is going to severely impact on con¬sumers, many of whom are already deeply indebted.”
A 47 cents per litre petrol price increase kicked in at midnight last night.
Roets said every commodity consumed was transported by road, and the 49c/l increase in the diesel price is going to impact on the prices of essential commodi¬ties like food which in turn was going to “hit the poorest of the poor the hardest.”
Independent economist Dawie Roodt said consumers should prepare themselves for tough times ahead. “We are in a catch 22 situation now where the consumer, who in the past was the main driver of eco¬nomic growth, is now being placed in a sit¬uation by the price hikes where they will no longer be able to spend the funds needed to boost growth.”
Roodt said this would have an impact on unemployment because without substan¬tial growth, unemployment was simply going to keep rising, driving more con¬sumers deeper into debt.
Roets said South Africans were struggling to make ends meet and the fuel price increase would severely affect their ability to service their debt load. – ANA