7,4% consumer inflation demands urgent action – Geordin Hill-Lewis

Cape Town mayor says jump in consumer price inflation signals a growing cost of living crisis

Cost of living: 7,4% consumer inflation demands urgent action from National Government on energy, fuel price

21 July 2022

Yesterday’s announcement that annual consumer price inflation jumped to 7,4% in June — a 13-year high — signals a growing cost of living crisis. Even those South Africans fortunate enough to be employed amid record levels of national unemployment are experiencing their costs of living fast outstripping their salaries.

It has been ten days since the President promised a “comprehensive set of actions” to solve the power crisis that will be announced “in the coming days”. Given that the latest round of severe load-shedding began over a month ago, it is unclear why the President has still not put forward any solutions. I call on President Ramaphosa to urgently present rational, reformist solutions to our energy crisis which will promote growth and lessen the cost of living. 

I reiterate my call to the President to announce a series of ten decisive steps that will assist municipalities to bring the energy crisis to an end as soon as possible. Not only will this dramatically bolster economic growth and employment, but it will allow municipalities to lower the costs of the electricity they supply to residents — a key aspect of high living costs. 

This move would be particularly timely considering reports this week that Eskom is envisioning a 32,7% increase in the price of electricity in seven months’ time. Ordinary South Africans should not be forced to pay for the years of corruption and mismanagement at Eskom that have led to the utility’s failure, especially not while we are experiencing the worst year of load-shedding on record.

I also call on the President to commit his government to deregulating the price of fuel and ending unnecessary, regressive fuel taxes. This could reduce the fuel price by up to R9 per litre. Again, South Africans should not be forced to foot the bill for mismanaged organs of state like the Road Accident Fund.

Clear, brave, and future-focussed leadership is urgently needed to stop South Africans’ steady slide into poverty. The President will have my full support in any good-faith attempt he makes to change course and work towards positive change.  

Issued by Media Office, City of Cape Town, 21 July 2022