Consumers in for a tough time

A higher power tariff and higher e-toll fees are just some of the pressures now facing South Africans.

Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - As government battles to turn the country's economy around, a number of factors are now indicating that consumers are in for a tough time.

A higher power tariff, meat price increases, another hike in the repo rate and higher e-toll fees are just some of the pressures now facing South Africans this year.

Added to this, growth remains under pressure with Stats SA reporting earlier today that GDP slowed to 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter of last year from 0.7 percent in the quarter before.

Nersa has announced a 9.4 percent tariff increase for Eskom, livestock producers warned today of increases in the prices of pork, poultry and red meat due to the drought, and the Reserve Bank looks set to hike the repo rate at its next meeting.

Nedbank Economist Isaac Matshego says personal income is not matching these combined increases.

"On the other side, cost pressures are going up; food and meat prices are going to go up."

He says 2016 will be a difficult year.

"It is a very difficult situation for the consumer and everybody is going to be affected."

Hopefully, with the rand regaining lost ground and the petrol price going down by 69 cents a litre, inflation will stay in the three to six percent target range and consumers will be able to make ends meet.