Witness Reporter
2 minute read
7 Jul 2022

Our Viewpoint | Rising prices

Witness Reporter

Load shedding is whacking the incomes of small business owners and those who use electricity to make a living.

Commuters could be expected to fork out a lot more money for taxi fares should taxi operators implement another fare increase following this week’s fuel hikes.

The National Taxi Alliance has proposed a 25% to 30% fare adjustment to its member associations but the associations will decide what margins they will use to adjust their tariffs by.

This news comes as motorists have had to cough up a substantial amount more for petrol and diesel. Electricity and water tariffs have just been increased. We’re paying way more for food.

Load shedding is whacking the incomes of small business owners and those who use electricity to make a living.

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Many without jobs are relying on child income grants to get by. Poverty at our own back door is increasing at a rapid rate as the economy tanks and unemployment rises.

And there is no relief in sight. The Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD) says that in June it cost R813,29 to feed a child a basic nutritious diet per month.

A child-care grant is a paltry R480. The costs of the basic Pietermaritzburg food basket increased by R649,89 (16,4%) year-on-year, to R4 602,52 in June 2022.

The PMBEJD said this situation raises three red flags: increased hunger, increased risk of social instability and a general deterioration of health, with short- and long-term effects.

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No one who is earning a decent wage can expect their employees, many of whom are earning a minimum wage, to absorb these increases on their own.

There is a moral and ethical obligation on those who have more than enough to make sure that those who don’t have enough are helped in this time of crisis.

Do what you can where you can.

Whether it is by donating towards feeding schemes, knitting a blanket for a less fortunate child, or supporting a non-profit organisation with your time, do something.

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You can’t save the world, but you can make a small difference.

And that will help us all feel better about a social landscape that is increasingly very discomforting.