SA FACING IMMINENT ECONOMIC DOWNGRADE
Written by: Sihle Makhowana
South Africans may need to dig deeper in their pockets to keep up with the struggling economy that has seen basic food prices plummet, making it hard to make ends meet.
South Africa’s economy is faced with an imminent economic downgrade that will add strain to the already weak rand. Back in January the rand dipped to its lowest, trading at R17 against the dollar and R24 against the pound.
A 3rd year Finance student from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Bongisisa Cwazibe stated possible impacts that the economic downgrade will likely have to ordinary citizens.
“The current weak economy status and rand value is largely influenced by the disastrous drought that has left severe supply inequality in the country’s agricultural sector which contributes a lot on the country’s exports, especially wheat and fruit exports,” said Cwazibe.
“It is unfortunate that ordinary citizens will be the ones who will harshly feel the effect of the downgrade, as things are, food prices and petrol prices are already high and should the economy be downgraded ordinary citizens face tough times ahead,” she added.
It seems the country’s citizens may have to compromise pleasure and stick to homemade meals which cost less compared to takeaways.
Kieren Murugan from Durban said that his lifestyle has had to change in order for him to adjust to the changing economy.
“Times are really hard. Just two days ago petrol prices went up and we had no choice but to fall in line. I now have to travel by taxis and sacrifice the comfort of my car because I cannot afford to drive my car on a daily basis,” said Murugan.
Small business owners like Nobuhle Mhlongo are no exception to the struggling economy. She has had to increase her prices to keep up with the tough times.
“These are hard times for small business owners like me as we have had to endure small growth and we were left with no choice but to increase our prices,” said Mhlongo.
“We all have to make ends meet and as business owners we need to make tough decisions to keep our businesses operational,” added Mhlongo.
Citizens are left with no choice but to tighten their belts and start spending wisely if they want to stay afloat in these hard economic times.
*Picture: The struggle still continues as the rand continues to lose value compared to other major currencies