Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fuel price hike dampens 2011 optimism

Suddenly all the talk of a happy and prosperous 2011 seems to have become mere rhetoric with South Africa's news bulletins announcing today, the sad news of a fuel price hike

As from midnight tomorrow (which is minutes away), we have been told to expect a 30 cent petrol price increase, meaning that a litre will cost in the region of R8, 58 to R8,73 a litre. Apparently the cost of paraffin ( a vital source of heat and light energy in the informal settlements) is set to go up as well.

Wow! This is just what the populace of Mzansi needs to hear so early in January when many have just sobered up to the realities of their extravagant festive season expenses. The "January disease" has just reared its ugly head and with today's news, is bound to become pandemic. The news headlines coupled with the inevitable rise in public transportation fares and the price of consumer goods; as well as hefty school fees, school uniform and stationery budgets; are bound to wipe many a smile off the faces of the 2011 optimists.

Who does one lash out at - the government, the fuel suppliers, the economists or the rich oil sheiks? Maybe the media for being the bearer of bad news? Alas, the blame game will get you and me nowhere. Those with fat bank accounts or who had the insight and means to save for this, arguably the toughest financial month of the year, are the only ones likely to be breathing a little easier. There is nothing much to be done folks, not even becoming fly-by-night communists! Let us bite the good ole lower lip, tighten the belts up a notch and get cracking into the new year.

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