South Africans, on hearing that inflation had risen to 7% in February, can suddenly make sense of why interest rates were further increased by the South African Reserve Bank last week Thursday.
It’s getting dark in here, and a little bit colder,
and I mean that literally as we seasonally are in Autumn. Our days will get shorter in terms of light of day available and we will certainly bid farewell to the heat we have complained about, the dry heat which has also hurt our crop… That brings us back to the inflation story.
It is getting more expensive for all of us. Yes, as trivial as the cup of coffee costs going up internationally as per the commodities index measured by Bloomberg. But that is the least of our worries.
Food and transport costs are driving up our inflation. It’s going to get worse as we start importing maize. The Rand has depreciated against the dollar (12% in the past six months alone). With maize being higher in costs, meat and chicken will also become more expensive. If you have not noticed that the price of potatoes has doubled, then you won’t have noticed what the price of cereal is doing.
If you have a job, you’re on lucky side of the curve, as the uphill battle does not get lost before you start. There is a closer to home unit you have to watch. In our household, we have just done Jennifer’s annual increase. She is our helper, and great at it! It just did not make sense to give her an inflationary increase. 7% or the average over the last 12 months (which would be lower), did not sit well with me.
The percentages can leave you fooled that you are doing the right thing, but the quantum of Rands that I figured she needed more to have a position where she is not worse off than last year was a higher number (percentage wise).
People, don’t forget that as hard as it is for you, it’s hard on those you employ. Don’t play the inflationary increase game when it comes to the people who contribute to making your house a home. It’s bad enough that the relative earnings are so little. The cost of living for those earning less than R5,000 a month is spiralling in every cent and every sense. Gainful and meaningful employment is not a problem to be solved out there.
You get the option of being a part of the solution… Or you can be part of the problem.