By Jay Caboz for Business Insider SA
After last night’s increase, a litre of petrol will cost twice as much as a litre of Coke. These favourite local SA items will cost the same as – or more than – a litre of petrol will tonight.
After tonight’s price increase South Africans will be paying almost R16 per litre for petrol. In Gauteng one can expect to pay R15.79 per litre while coastal cities will pay R15.20 per litre, according to the Central Energy Fund.
The recent fuel hikes have been taxing on South African motorists who will now be forking out even more following May’s 49c per litre increase.
Business Insider South Africa visited shopping stores to see how this compared to some of South Africa’s daily items on the isles.
These favourite local SA items will cost almost the same as a litre of petrol will tonight:
- A litre of Clover Long Life Full Cream Milk – R15.99.
- A 300ml bottle of drinking yogurt (R15.08) or a 500g tub of plain low fat yogurt (R15.99).
- A 2-litre bottle of Coca-Cola – R15.99.
- A 5-litre bottle of water – R16.99.
- 750ml of No Name Cooking Oil – R15.99
- A 250ml can of Red Bull Energy Drink go for R14.99.
- A 350ml refill of Sunlight dish washing liquid.
- A six pack of hotdog rolls from Pick n Pay – R14.99.
- A kilogram of rice – R15.99.
- For the sweet tooth you can get a packet of marshmallows (R15.49), a small packet of Cadbury Tumblers Raisins (R16.13), or a 85g packet of microwave popcorn (R16.49).
By Allison Jeftha for Fin24
Fin24 went shopping at South Africa’s leading retailers to see who has the lowest prices on products exempt from the increase in value-added tax (VAT).
The VAT hike from 14% to 15% came into effect on April 1, after an announcement by former finance minister Malusi Gigaba in the 2018 Budget.
There has been a widespread backlash to the impact it will have on South African consumers’ pockets, especially those of the poor.
Only 19 items have been excluded from the VAT hike.
The current list of VAT-exempt items comprises the following items:
• Brown bread
• Maize meal
• Mealie rice
• Dried mealies
• Dried beans
• Pilchards/sardines in tins
• Milk powder
• Dairy powder blend
• Vegetable oil
• Cultured milk
• Brown wheat meal
• Edible legumes and pulses of leguminous plants
When Fin24 conducted a snap poll among users to share their views on the VAT increase and to tell us which items they would like to be added to the current VAT-free list, we were inundated with responses.
The message was clear: the current list of items is not enough.
Fin24 previously reported that Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said government will continue to hold talks with stakeholders in a bid to soften the blow of the VAT hike on the poor, and is prepared to look at expanding the list of zero-rated goods.
Fin24 filled some trolleys at Pick n Pay [JSE:PIK], Woolworths [JSE:WHL], Spar [JSE:SPP], Checkers and Shoprite [JSE:SHP] to get an idea of what the basket of goods would cost.
Here’s what we found:
- Pick n Pay – Total Price: R363.64
- Woolworths – Total price: R592.19
- Spar – Total price: R400.55 spar
- Shoprite – Total price: R331.08
- Checkers – Total price: R403.17
The winner is Shoprite, with Pick n Pay not far behind. To be fair, Fin24 compared house brands, and where there weren’t, we chose the cheapest comparable items.
Where the quantities of comparable items in-store differed, we checked for the prices of the like-for-like items of the respective retailers online. The only two retailers that had different size packaging were Pick n Pay and Woolworths. The comparable sized items were found on their websites.
Debt counsellors are warning consumers against buying food on credit, saying that it will have a negative impact on overall debt.
Pick n Pay is the latest store to offer customers the option of purchasing groceries on credit.
The supermarket says that it will use its Smart Shopper card programme to select shoppers who qualify.
Pick n Pay deputy CEO Richard van Rensburg says that the store accounts have been designed to exclude hidden fees that exacerbate the cost of credit and charge the lowest monthly fee of R10.
However, Debt Rescue CEO Neil Roets says that it is better to buy assets on credit than food.
“Food is something that you definitely should not buy on credit. Good debt is having a home loan or a car. But if you have to finance food, then you are in big trouble.”
Debt counsellor Deborah Solomon says that it’s not advisable for shoppers to buy food on credit due to the interest charged on them.
“Food is a necessary living expense which you need to be able to have access to and it’s not wise to spend credit on food, especially when you can’t afford to pay that credit off in its full capacity at the end of the month.”
By Koketšo Motau for EWN
In what its backers are calling “potentially a world first for a major grocery retailer”, shoppers were for a “limited time” able to pay for their groceries using bitcoin at a Pick n Pay retail store in Cape Town.
In a statement posted on its website, Cape Town-based specialist software payments development house Electrum, said customers at Pick n Pay’s campus store at its head office were able to use the bitcoin cryptocurrency to purchase groceries and services.
“The checkout process is as simple as scanning a QR code using a bitcoin wallet app on the customer’s smartphone,” the statement said. See demonstration video from Electrum below.
The checkout process is as simple as scanning a QR code using a bitcoin wallet app on the customer’s smartphoneIt quoted the retailer’s information systems executive Jason Peisl as saying that although bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are “still relatively new payment concepts”, Pick n Pay has been able to “effectively demonstrate how we are able to accept such alternative payments”.
Pick n Pay did not say when or even if it planned to expand the pilot to other stores. However, Pick n Pay deputy CEO Richard van Rensburg has subsequently told Business Day that the retailer doesn’t expect to begin accepting bitcoin in the near term. He said the trial has since ended.
“We are unlikely to roll out the solution until the payments industry and regulatory authorities have established a framework for managing the risks associated with cryptocurrencies,” Van Rensburg is quoted as having said. “We have proved to ourselves, though, that it is technically possible to roll out a solution very quickly.”
Electrum provided the cloud-based enterprise payments platform used for the transactions, while the bitcoin infrastructure for the project was provided by Luno, a bitcoin company active in Southeast Asia and Africa, and with an office in Cape Town.
According to Electrum’s website, major major retailers and financial institutions use the company’s technology to accept payments, process loyalty transactions and provide value-added services. Its customers include two out of Africa’s top three retailers.
By Duncan Mcleod for TechCentral