Brace yourselves for an expensive April fool’s price hike

File image.

File image.

It’s no joke.

The cost of living just got a whole lot more expensive. We may have dodged a bullet after credit ratings agency Moody’s didn’t announce a downgrade of South Africa to junk status on Friday, but it’s no April Fool’s joke that, from today, you will pay 9.41% more for electricity.

This comes after the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) last month announced it had approved Eskom’s application to hike electricity tariffs by an average of 3.5% above inflation for the next three years.

In 2020, the cost of electricity will increase by 8.1% and a further 5.22% in 2021. According to the Democratic Alliance, which says the massive increase will “eat into the already diminished incomes of the poor and lower income groups”, Eskom’s electricity prices have increased by about 356% over a period of 10 years, from 2007 to 2017, while inflation over the same period was 74%.

Ouch! While citizens are already battling due to the limping economy, small businesses and manufacturers will especially feel the pinch, having just contended with rolling blackouts.

It gets worse. From Wednesday, the price of 95 unleaded petrol goes up by R1.26 per litre at the coast and R1.31 per litre in Gauteng.

This brings the prices to R15.49 per litre and R16.13 per litre, respectively. Double ouch!

All we can do is tighten our belts – yet again.

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