I am not really sure what is in Finance Minister Trevor Manuel's cigar but it certainly must be very strong. The increase in interest rates and the rampant inflation means that I now spend more on my bond, food, petrol and, worse of all, I have had to spend money on security and devices to save electricity.
The collusion between manufacturers and service providers means that inflation will continue to rise until such time that we can no longer afford the basic necessities. The bad state of public transportation means that those of us who cannot walk to work need to purchase cars which are also affected by inflation, the high petrol costs and the ever increasing and encroaching toll roads.
Consider that I have very little control over these expenses and yet Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni finds reasons to punish me for it. Chances of my salary keeping up with inflation are very small and whatever little I have left cannot even go far enough because the banks charge an arm and a leg for their services.
Now Finance Minister Manuel has the temerity to ask me to save more. What more can I save other than my carcass, which is being sucked dry by heavy taxes, ever-rising petrol price, the increase in property rates, and other hidden costs?
Come off it, Manuel. Perhaps you can save, but the 95percent of us that do not earn millions of rands cannot.
Len Anderson, Banbury Cross