A shopping basket that gets lighter each month, switching to less healthy foods, canceling gym or TV subscriptions, and personal treats being slashed from the budget. These are some of the measures some South Africans have taken to save money in a tough economy and as costs soar.
From Friday, tariff increases will go into effect in many local authorities. Consumers will see increases of 3.5%. and 13.5% for services.
Local residents told TimesLIVE they are not ready for this as their budgets are tight and they have already cut spending.
Retiree Elize Smith, who lives in Randburg said she has no idea how she’s going to get through the coming months.
“I have nowhere else to cut. I worry that some of the cuts will endanger my health. I have eliminated fresh milk from my diet and am using powdered milk. I can’t afford to buy fruits, vegetables and vitamin supplements anymore,” she said.
In light of the city of Johannesburg’s tax increases on Friday, Smith said she has no idea how she’s going to pay for them.< /p>
“This will be the first time in my life that I will default on payment for services. It’s gotten to a point where we have to choose between eating out or paying for city services,” she said.
Soweto retiree Mittah Mmusi, who relies on state welfare payments, told the Times had been very hard. She said the R95 increase she received in April this year was not enough to cover the rising cost of living.
“It’s like it hadn’t been increased at all. Every time I visit a grocery store, the prices have gone up. We are fighting,” she said.
Mmusi supports her two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren on her social grant. She said that every month when she goes grocery shopping, she has to leave behind an item she bought the previous month because of price increases.
“My shopping cart empties every month. Even what we used to know as cheaper brands is becoming expensive. There’s no easy way out for us,” she said.
Randy Maduma, from Soweto, said last year that she was able to supplement her income with a part-time job. She sold clothes but said because everyone is having a hard time, people won’t buy from her anymore.
“Basically, my side hustle is dying and I’m not sure how I’m going to survive. I used to have takeout once a week. Now I do them once a month. Things are that bad. It looks like I won’t be able to eat out by the end of this month,” she said.
Jethro Khoza from Krugersdorp said he had no idea how to make ends meet target. He hasn’t had a raise since 2020, and since then “we’re paying almost double what we paid in 2020 for a lot of things”.
Khoza said he’s canceled his gym membership and is jogging up instead the streets to stay fit and healthy.
“Unfortunately I don’t see the savings from this because everything is so expensive. I also downgraded our DStv subscription to a cheaper package but even there I can’t see the savings because everything is expensive,” he said.
In Tshwane:< /p>
- Property taxes will increase by 6%;
- Waste collection by 6%;
- Electricity by 7.47%;
- water tariffs up 9%; and
- Hygiene fees by 9%.
- < li >Property taxes will increase by 4.85%;
- Electricity by 7.47%;
- Water by 9.75%;
- Sanitation by 9, 75%; and
- garbage collection by 5%.
- garbage collection tariff will increase by 7 %;
- Electricity up 9.61%; and
- Removal of water and sanitation by 11%.
In Cape Town:
- Fees will increase by 4.5%;
- Electricity by 13.5%;
- Water by 5%;
- Sanitation by 5%; and
- Waste collection by 3.5%
- there will be no increase property taxes;
- Water tariff increases by 5.9% for homes and 9% for businesses;
- Electricity by 7.47%; and
- Sewerage increases by 5.9% for homes and 9% for businesses.
Support independent journalism by supporting the Sunday Times subscribe to. Only 20 R for the first month.