The water situation and every Capetonian’s wallet has one thing in common, they’re both really dry. Our ever mounting expenses are leaving our wallets feeling parched. The cost of living seems to keep getting higher while your income stays the same, and these are the 6 main culprits of our arid personal fund situation in the Mother City.
1. Water Charges
Not only are Capetonians constantly paying for bottled water and supplies to save water, now we are having to pay for saving water. Come July first, three new increases will be implemented by the City of Cape Town. A water tariff, a water delivery fee and an increase in the price of water is one way to drain our funds. As the dams fill up, our wallets run dry.
Traffic in Cape Town is a nightmare, and affordable property is hard to come by. It comes as no surprise that locals are paying a massive amounts of their monthly income towards fuel. Petrol prices are at an all time high and are expected to increase again in July. This money sucking resource is only worsened by the constant congestion on a daily basis. Fuel is now also known as liquid gold. And if you don’t own a car it doesn’t matter, because the increase in petrol affects all modes of transport, bus and taxi prices have increased too. Even Uber drivers are considering limiting their services to save on unaffordable fuel prices.
Let’s also not forget, that when the price of petrol goes up, so does the price of food, services and just about everything else too.
3. Vat Increase
South Africa faced its first VAT increase in many years. From April 1, South Africans now pay 15% VAT which is effectively a 7.14% net increase affecting the price of all products and goods we buy. One percentage point doesn’t seem like a lot, but if you add up everything you pay 1% extra for, you realise that it is exhorbitant.
The National Energy Regulator of South Africa, approved R32.69-billion for Eskom’s multi-year price determination Regulatory Clearing Account applications earlier this month. This successful RCA application means that in addition to annual price increases for the year ahead, Eskom may also be allowed to charge customers extra to make up for the reduced revenue. A 5.23% tariff increase was approved for power utility charges in December last year, however, Eskom has filed a court application challenging the increase as they were originally aiming for a 19.9% increase and additional increase announcements are expected later this year.
Food prices are on an upward spiral and there seems to be no relief, even during specials or sales. According to the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action, food barometer, a family of seven will need a budget of roughly R4,203 month for a nutritionally satisfying diet and a family of five will need a budget of roughly R3,036 a month to get by. If you think of minimum wage in South Africa, you have a clearer picture of how unaffordable food is right now.
Whether you are buying or renting, Cape Town is extremely unaffordable. Single renters can expect exuberant prices for shoes box size apartments in the city. And if you’re trying to buy a property make sure you start saving from birth. The City boasts the most expensive streets in the country, and possibly even on the continent – which gives you an insight into the kind of prices you can expect to pay for property.
There are no shortcuts, and you cannot work around the mounting prices, most of these are not luxuries, they are necessities. It is also only June, we are half way through the year and we cannot afford to even pay attention. We shudder to think what December will bring, makes for a very bleak Christmas period.