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Tough times: Citizens warned to expect further price hikes

Consumers will be paying more for electricity, water and sanitation services and can expect a petrol price hike of between 23 and 26 cents per litre from Wednesday.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – South Africans can expect a number of significant increases from today which will put many under extreme financial pressure.

Consumers will be paying more for electricity, water and sanitation services and can expect a petrol price hike of between 23 and 26 cents per litre from Wednesday.

The knock-on effects will have a major impact on food prices and increase the cost of living for many who are already struggling financially.

Ratepayers will be forking out more for services from today, including hefty hikes for water and electricity in Joburg and Cape Town.

However, those are just some of the increases South Africans face as petrol and food prices are also expected to increase.

Economist Azar Jammine says most of these increases were expected and the fuel price hike is actually lower this month compared to previous months.

“However, cumulatively the effect of the fuel pricing increases over the last four months would have been to erode people’s disposable income by just over 1%.

“As for municipal rates, they vary depending on what kind of rates one is looking at. You’ve got to bear in mind that this happens every single year.”

Consumers have been urged to cut back on spending and manage their debt in the next few months as the cost of living increases.

WATCH: Getting ready for price increases in July

Meanwhile, economists say it's not all bad as the financial pressures aren't as intense as they were 10 years ago.

Economist Isaac Matshego says he's remaining positive.

“Tough times don’t last forever, it’s a circle. I don’t believe that it’s going to be a really difficult circle like we saw in 2008/2009 and hopefully, we’ll come out of this circle unscathed.”

Jammine says economic growth won't be affected too much at this stage.

“The economy may not slow down significantly in the current context... too much over the coming year. But if one is looking for economic growth to rise above 1.5% on a sustainable basis, one has to look for government to introduce structural reforms in the economy.”

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