Since early September the rand has lost another 8% against the dollar, making it possible that laptop prices will be hiked from 15% to 20% this year.
This is according to Christopher Riley, CEO of The Notebook Company, who says the rand pressure is creating a major problem on imported goods.
“We don’t import everything but the weak rand is creating causing a tremendous pressure. I see prices going up to as much as 20%. We just cannot retain the import cost increase.”
Riley says laptop costs – and computer costs in general – could spiral out of control this year.
He says the dollar always affects the price of computer goods as their base prices are quoted in dollars. Due to the South African currency devaluation – or when the dollar emerges stronger – computer prices are almost immediately affected.
“We are trying our best to retain cost increases. But ther weak rand is going to make this very difficult. This is bad news for everyone.
“Right now, with the continued weakness of the Rand, I do not see an upside. It is going to hurt consumers and they may cut back on buying – which will hurt the local market.”