Stop the moaning about price hikes, it’s not a uniquely South African problem

Household energy bills shot up by 54% on Friday in the UK.

If another South African tells me about the appalling hikes in petrol, electricity and gas prices as if it’s a uniquely South African problem, I’m going to combust.

They simply don’t want to hear that the rest of the world might be suffering too.

Price hikes in Ireland

No load shedding but fuel is expensive

Yes, sure, here in the Republic of Ireland where I live we have nothing on South Africa when it comes to unemployment rates and institutional corruption.

There’s no load-shedding either – but we certainly have skyrocketing energy prices.

For instance, petrol prices – which the government does not set – recently passed €2 per litre, or R32.

ALSO READ: Temporary fuel price decrease will give motorists ‘time to adjust’

Gas and electricity price hikes

Then, a couple of weeks ago, Himself and I switched on the television news to hear that our gas prices were due to go up by 39%, and electricity bills by 25%.

We immediately switched it off again to save electricity, unplugging at the wall to be sure.

We use gas for cooking and heating of both the house and water, and electricity for the rest so this will hit hard.

Freezing temperatures

Meanwhile, as I write, it’s a sunny spring day outside. It’s also four degrees. Overnight it was -3.

In these northern European climes, heating is a necessity that’s fast becoming a luxury.

Most people in Irish cities use piped natural gas, while oil is more typical in the country: householders order it as required, a tanker comes, and it’s pumped into their storage vat.

These typically take about 1,000l. However, the cost of this heating oil has almost doubled: it was €400 for 500 litres a few months ago, and now it’s almost €800.

Household energy bill price hikes

Meanwhile, to cite another example, household energy bills shot up by 54% on Friday in the UK. The only reason they didn’t go higher was because there’s a regulated price cap.

But businesses – which don’t share this cap – are looking at a 250% rise in their gas prices, compared to a year ago.

Energy bills are rising ten times faster than wages.

The situation is so bleak that governments are urging people not to bring their barbecues inside to use as makeshift fireplaces because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning – oh, and raging infernos.

But then I suppose at least the neighbours could warm themselves on the flames.

NOW READ: Dropping the fuel price by R1.50 is a small mercy, but we’ll take it

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