Membership fee increases for 2018
In drawing up the budget, we carefully weighed up all the expenditure items against all the estimated/anticipated income that will be received during the course of the year. If the budgeted expenditure is more than the anticipated income, there are limited options: Either expenditure needs to be cut or income has to be boosted, or a combination of the two.
On the expenditure side, we encountered numerous factors such as the effect of inflation on almost everything, some more than others. Administrative prices for example, (water, electricity and rates and taxes etc) are rising above normal inflation. The combined cost of running our 21 service centres across the country represents a significant portion of total expenditure and because the trend of an increase in our membership mortality rate continued, more funds had to be channelled to our Funeral Benefit Scheme to keep it sustainable. Last but not least, we limited staff increases to the rate of inflation while we interrogated all other expenditure items with a view to curbing expenditure wherever we can. The latter has become an integral part of our daily functioning.
The income side of the budget once again proved to be the biggest challenge. Our membership has dropped to around 58000 members and it is uncertain at which level it will stabilise. The latter has a direct impact on our income. UASA does not escape the turbulence caused by economic turmoil and political instability. At the time of drawing up this budget, there was no end in sight for this turmoil, so, we anticipate further membership losses and the concomitant lesser membership fee income. Add membership losses due to natural attrition to the latter and we sit with a situation where the total anticipated loss in membership fee income becomes significant, resulting in a situation where membership fees unfortunately need to be adjusted.
After a long and hard interrogation of all the facts and figures, the NEC, at its meeting held on 10 November 2017, had to make the painful decision to approve a budget which will see a membership fee increase of 6.48%. Membership fees will increase by R7.00 per month or R1.06 per week. Monthly fees will in other words be R115.00 per month, effective from the end of February 2018. Pensioner members’ fees will go up by R5.00 to R95.00 per month.