With World AIDS Day approaching on 1 December 2011, the trade union UASA is relieved to learn that a new study by the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA) shows that South Africa’s AIDS deaths have dropped by nearly 25 percent, from 257 000 six year ago to 194 000 last year. According to the research the drop is due to scaled up access to life-saving drugs, which government for years had refused to provide.
The trade union Uasa is appalled at yet another sharp hike in the fuel price as announced by the Department of Energy today.
The price of R10,77/ℓ (up 23c/ℓ for all grades of petrol) for 95 octane petrol in Gauteng and R10,01/ℓ for diesel might prove more than workers can bear.
It is not only motorists who are in for more pain, but the millions who cannot afford their own vehicles and have to rely on public transport to get around, that will suffer the consequences of this. The fact that the price hike was prompted by international oil prices coming down while the rand continues weakening may be correct in economic terms, but only means misery for the poor.
Consumers are reaching a saturation point where it will become impossible to squeeze another cent out of them.
A ray of hope may be that many producers and retailers are not in a position to let the consumer carry the entire increase burden as consumer demand is low and the economy sluggish.
Economists foresee that the fuel price can drop in the near future if consumer demand in Europe stays low, and in the event that the rand recovers if the European debt crisis can be kept at bay.