Business Headache as Consumers Suffer While Inflation Soars!
Prices soar as economic meltdown shows its ugly head
The economic turmoil in the country has not spared anyone in all the key sectors of the economy. Companies have had to come up with tactical survival skills in order to keep their operations running as well as provide consumer products and services. With inflation hovering over 500% the heat is being felt on all corners of the country day in day out.
The ordinary citizen is at the receiving end of price increases of basic commodities on a daily basis and citizens expressed concern over the rising cost of living. The rise in the consumer basket experienced over the last week has seen the price of basic commodities going beyond the reach of many. We met a woman who identified herself as mai Musarurwa outside a supermarket in Mbare who expressed shock on the prices they saw in a shop. “I could not believe my eyes when I saw the price of cooking oil has gone up by ZWL$6 to ZWL$24 per 2 litre bottle, I cannot afford to buy enough for my family of six and even worse is that sugar is now ZWL$17.22 for 2kg packet from ZWL$12 meaning tea with sugar will become a Christmas delicacy. The rate & magnitude of these prices are unbearable”, said mai Musarurwa.
Motorists and businesses have not been spared by the economic challenges as the price of fuel keeps ballooning beyond reach and creating viability problems for most business models. Diesel was also increased by 24% from ZWL$7.29 to ZWL$9.06 on Friday 02 August 2019, making it difficult for businesses to continue running on generators as an alternative to the massive power cuts being experienced countrywide. Motorist in fuel queues voiced concern that the precious liquid has vanished on the market and their wait in long queues was no guarantee of getting diesel or petrol.
A couple of days ago there was a significant increase in council hospital fees where adults are now required to pay ZWL$50 from the ZWL$10, children ZWL$25 from ZWL$5 and maternity fees now ZWL$120 from ZWL$25. This raises concern on the possibility that millions will not access basic medical assistance at the new price points and endangers the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.
The telecoms industry has not been spared by the havoc of such spiking inflationary conditions and the continuous decline on the value of the Zimbabwean dollar. Major players in the Telecoms industry have been forced to continuously review their Voice, Data & SMS tariffs in order to maintain quality service. With the sector estimated to consume in excess of 3 million litres per month of diesel to power generators on more than 2500 sites, it’s inevitable the adjustments on fuel prices will directly affect pricing of their products to maintain the networks running.
All operators are expected to follow the increase in power tariffs as this impacts operating costs and will likely increase their tariffs two fold. Netone led the way advising of a Data increase on 8 August 2019.