The Big Petrol Price Cut Swallowed by Electricity Cost Increase

For the first time in 6 months, petrol and diesel prices will be dropping on Wednesday, however, this is going to be swallowed by the electricity increase that starts on Monday 1stJuly.

Petrol 95 will be dropping by 95 cents per litre and 93 octane drops by 96 cents per litre on Wednesday. Diesel is set to decrease by 74 cents.

Cliff Johnston, SA National Consumer Union deputy chairperson said that if the price reductions are sustained then the effect will be beneficial for all consumers. 

Those that are buying petrol, diesel, gas and paraffin will benefit from the price drop immediately as refuelling a standard car should work out to be about R30 – R40 cheaper once the decrease kicks in. 

However, he also said that other consumers may not be as lucky, as taxi and bus fares are unlikely to go down. He went on to say that service providers generally cash in on reductions rather than passing the savings on to consumers. A lower fuel price, in the long run, should mean that the public transport prices and prices of general goods and services should not increase as much as long as the current fuel prices are sustained. 

Economists have said that the decrease in fuel prices is to neutralise the increase in electricity tariffs. 

Without a doubt the fuel decrease will come as a relief to consumers following the tightening of belts over the past few years due to low economic growth, higher taxes and the fear of retrenchment in a weak economy said Azar Jammine, director and chief economists at Econometrix. 

This amounts to a decrease of about 6% in the price of petrol and diesel according to Jammine, which then accounts for about 4.5% of disposable income for the majority of people. In essence, this will reduce the cost of living by R2.50 for every R1000 that people have. He also pointed out that the electricity tariffs are set for the whole year, whereas petrol and diesel prices are volatile. 

Mike Schussler, economist said that the decrease in fuel is good news and may strengthen the case for interest rate cuts as it will help to stabilise the inflation rate that was at 4.5% last month. 

However, the electricity price increase comes in to effect from 1stJuly for most municipalities, which then negates the petrol price drop. 

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AI is After Your Job

Technology is coming and the fallout from such will be nasty, especially for the millennials according to Adzuna, recruitment specialist. 

One of the most disruptive forces in the modern workplace will be automation and artificial intelligence according to the online job aggregator. If the predictions from across the world are correct then up to 37% of millennials will be at risk of losing their jobs to automation. 

Those from the generation before are now employed generally within leadership and managerial roles and jobs that require complex problem solving, which makes them in less danger than their younger counterparts according to Scott Dobroski from Glassdoor. 

The ones that are more likely to suffer and to be replaced sooner are the millennials as they do not possess as many job skills and are in simpler positions that AI will be able to take over.

The jobs that automation and AI will take over are not necessarily just the ones that come to mind first like drivers. They will be across all sectors because almost every company in the world relies on some sort of technology according to Jesse Green, country manager for Adzuna South Africa. 

Almost every company on earth will have an online presence or an app, which means that everyone is put at risk. 

Jobs that involve strategy, data science and critical thinking are unlikely to be replaced compared to repetitive white-collar jobs. This then means that doctors, nurses, financial planners, software engineers and data scientists are relatively safe for now. 

Even though automation may not take over these roles, it will still affect them according to Green. AI and automation will rather make these jobs more efficient and effective. We are still far away from having a robot analyse an injury and fixing it right then and there. 

Green went on to cite an article from the Harvard Business Review and said that organisational structures used today will be reshaped by AI. The authors of the article, Ravin Jesuthasan and John Boudreau said that the human aspect that is present in the workforce after the Fourth Industrial Revolution comes won’t be sourced through employment.  Jobs within organisations will become a thing of the past and will rather be outsourced by measure of units. 

An AI expert and venture capitalist, Kai Fu Lee recently said in an interview with CBS News that it’s possible for up to 40% of jobs across the globe being replaced by computers or robots. 

Names like Elon Musk have been warning about the power of AI for quite a while and saying that could disproportionately affect low income workers. 

The fact is that AI is on the rise and it can’t be stopped and neither can the impact it will have on society. AI can be seen in the same way as electricity and the steam engine. This is because before these systems worked, people laughed at the inventors, until the reality of such things were in effect across the world. 

Change will always affect humans, but we struggle through and get on with things. The issue though with AI is that it will hit us a lot sooner and harder than other innovations did.

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