ANC Government unable to restrain the Cost of Living Crisis

Issued by Dr Dion George MP – DA Shadow Minister of Finance
24 May 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Dr Dion George MP.

Today’s inflation statistics revealed by StatsSA are not merely numbers – they are glaring symptoms of an unrelenting cost of living crisis gnawing at the core of South African households.

The official inflation rate, surpassing 6.8% on a year-to-year basis, breaches the stipulated target range of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) for the 12th consecutive month, and reveals an economic landscape scarred by inflationary pressures.

However, a deep-seated analysis of these numbers reveals a crisis in full swing. Transportation expenses that have rocketed by 7.6% and escalating fuel prices by 5% leaves South Africans gasping for economic breath.

Food prices have seen a staggering 14.3% hike, with the cost of bread, a fundamental food item, surging by 20.8% within the year.

The inflation crisis is exacerbated by the ANC government’s disgraceful international political stance, as seen in the disclosure about weapons being loaded onto the Russian ship, the ‘Lady R’ in Simonstown – a clear indication of ANC’s support of Russia’s invasive actions in Ukraine. This non-neutral stance, unconscionable in its disregard for the inevitable devaluation of our currency, magnifies our inflationary woes.

Yet, the ANC government and its cabinet Ministers, comfortably ensconced in a cocoon of luxury, remains grossly disconnected from the stark realities of widespread hunger and poverty. Amidst the grim plight of the citizens, Ministers continue to remain insulated from the crippling impact of inflation and escalating living costs. With millions in taxpayer rands frivolously spent on ostentatious Ministerial home renovations, the ANC government’s disregard for the suffering of its citizens is clearly on display.

A caring government would alleviate the financial burden on its citizens by immediately slashing the fuel levy, amplifying solar tax rebates to liberate consumers from Eskom’s grip, and expanding the zero-VAT rated food basket to include essentials such as bone-in chicken, beef, tinned beans, wheat flour, margarine, peanut butter, baby food, tea, coffee, and soup powder. The VAT imposed on these items mercilessly penalizes the most vulnerable South Africans.

The DA will not remain silent as the ANC prioritizes political gamesmanship over the welfare of our people. Our Alternative Budget, presented in February, is clear on solutions to confront this cost-of-living crisis. Yet, the ANC government’s political posturing continues at the expense of South Africans.

The rampant cost of living crisis in South Africa warrants immediate, decisive government action. South Africans are in dire need of palpable action, and the DA stands resolute to see our recommendations materialize to alleviate their struggle.