The South African rand has weakened from R11.39 to the US dollar on 26 February 2015 to R12.48 on 13 March 2015, with the drop to hurt consumers’ pockets.
Our currency’s weakness will hit the computer industry, where nearly all the equipment is imported, particularly hard.
Apart from the direct impact of higher wholesale prices for computing products, transport costs will also increase.
Mahomed Cassim, CEO of technology importer Esquire, said that while the weak rand has not impacted the market much yet, it is set to happen soon.
He said consumer should prepare themselves for a price increase of around 6% to 9% in the next few weeks: in-line with the rand’s decline against the dollar.
The first price increases will be seen on items like hard disk drives, flash drives, RAM, and other fast moving items which are brought in by air freight.
“Items like mobile phones and tablets, which are usually only brought in by air freight, have already seen a price increase,” said Cassim.
Unless the rand strengthens, items which are typically brought in by sea freight, like monitors and motherboards, will also see price increases.
Cassim explained that Esquire has held off on price increases as they brought in extra stock due to Chinese New year closures.
“This helped us to keep pricing the same, but with new items coming in now these are effected by the weak read.”