South Africans should expect an increase in prices of consumer electronics due to the weakening of the Rand over the past month, local vendor Mustek recently told MyBroadband.
Because the majority of electronics imports are US Dollar dominated, the weakening of the Rand-Dollar exchange rate has a domino effect on the prices of gadgets such as personal computing devices and televisions, Mustek said.
In a recently released statement, The Notebook Company warned that they would have to increases prices immediately by as much as 10% as they can no longer absorb the “currency hits”.
The Notebook Company said that it expected many technology distributors in South Africa are going to have to increase prices across the board.
Mustek offered some statistics to back up this prediction, explaining that over 95% of information technology equipment sold in South Africa is imported.
“In these situations, everybody pays more in Rand terms, including suppliers and resellers,” Mustek said. “At the end of the day this ultimately results in the end-user paying more for the particular device.”
Pinnacle Africa agreed with Mustek, saying that a price increase is inevitable as they work on a cost per shipment basis.
Asked how long prices would remain high and whether they would come down again if the Rand strengthened, Mustek said that it’s not possible to make an accurate prediction at this stage.
“Due to the volatility of the market, it is difficult to predict how long prices will remain at higher levels,” Mustek said.
Samsung, Sony, LG, Asus, and Rectron were also all asked for their take on the Rand-Dollar situation. Samsung, Sony, and Asus declined to comment; LG did not respond by the time of publication. Rectron explained that their spokesperson for this is in the midst of work for their financial year-end and could therefore not comment by the time of publication.