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Concerns over rising cost of living after power, fuel price hikes kick in

Fuel prices shot up at midnight - with 93 octane petrol increasing by 95 cents a litre, while 95 octane increased by one rand.

© sifotography/123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - With significant price increases now facing consumers, there are concerns that the cost of living will increase dramatically, making it near impossible for many to make ends meet.

Fuel prices shot up at midnight, with 93 octane petrol increasing by 95 cents a litre, while 95 octane increased by one rand.

Diesel increased by between 63 and 65 cents.

READ: Santaco warns of taxi fare hikes as higher fuel costs set to kick in

The cost of electricity also went up by 15% this month.

There were fears that households would battle and that some businesses may not survive.

With many losing their jobs and battling to provide for their families, South Africans were now also facing a double blow - record fuel prices and increased electricity tariffs.

ALSO READ: Cope: Govt should review Eskom’s ‘exclusionary’ electricity tariff increase

Chief Economist at Stanlib Asset Management, Kevin Lings, said that this could also be the final blow for many businesses.

"And my suspicion is that we are at a point now that this is too big an increase for everybody to just absorb yet again."

Personal finance expert, Maya Fischer-French, said that when looking at fuel prices, the taxes were concerning.

“Of the R17 per litre we are going to be paying at the pump, R6.15c will be taxed. What’s also concerning to me is that this month we will see a 15 % increase in the cost of electricity... and fuel and electricity are essential items."

There is agreement that the knock-on effect to inflation could be severe.

'CONSUMERS IN DIRE STRAIGHTS'

Consumer activist Ina Wilken said that South Africans had already been under intense financial pressure.

"This type of increase is going to have a detrimental effect on consumers who are already in a dire state. It couldn't come at a worse time with too many consumers living under the bread line, no jobs..."

This latest round of fuel price hikes, Wilken said, would have a knock-on effect.

"Food prices are going to increase becaue remember they've got to be transported from point A to point B, for example, so it's got an absolutely huge effect on everything, so the consumers are in dire straights."

Additional reporting by Shamiela Fisher.

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