The recent price hikes of petrol, food and electricity need urgent attention. We have to review our economic policies. The biggest challenges are the low wages and high interest rates. The employers are struggling to keep up with the high inflation rates. The rate of unemployment is also increasing daily.
The situation is difficult for people who are working, what more for the unemployed and pensioners. If not attended to as a matter of urgency, this will increase the high levels of poverty in the country. A lot of people will lose their houses and cars.
Food is a basic need and is now becoming a luxury. Imagine a loaf of bread being R8. The government should ensure that its policies are pro-poor and not only preach about caring for the poor. A few months ago one company was fined R60 million for fixing the price of bread.
How does this money benefit the poor?
The National Energy Regulator recently granted Eskom an increase of 13 percent, despite the last increase in December last year. Communities have been encouraged to instal pre-paid meters, but still most cannot afford electricity.
The government can ease the burden on us by scrapping value added tax on food, petrol and electricity.