The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) is disappointed by the decision of the Governor of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), Gill Marcus, to keep the repo rate unchanged at 5.0%.

“An interest rate cut would have given our financially strapped members some much needed economic reprieve and encouraged an increase in consumer spending. While the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures indicated only a mild increase in food, housing and transport costs, the recent sharp increase in the price of petrol and diesel will undoubtedly affect the price of goods and services in the near future,” commented IMATU General Secretary, Johan Koen.

The cost of a basic food basket has increased on average by 16% per year for the last five years, the price of electricity has effectively increased by 82.3% in the last three years, petrol prices have increased on average by 11% per year for the last decade and Metrorail’s ticket prices have effectively increased by 69% in the last three years.

“An interest rate cut would have given people the much needed economic breather that is being afforded to other emerging economies,” stated Koen.