SMALL businesses in Gauteng say they are suffocating over the increasing cost of oil and margarine.
Over the last 12 weeks, the price of oil alone has almost doubled leaving them with little profit from their sales.
Traders such as Maggie Sithole have made a living selling amagwinya or fat cakes for over 20 years at a busy corner in Benoni, a watering hole for those making their way to work.
However, the once busy corner has been rendered empty due to the impact of the crippling oil prices.
Unfortunately, even though amagwinya are a favourite on-the-go breakfast for many workers because they are affordable and tasty; making them requires a large amount of cooking oil.
In the township of Kwa-Thema, east of Johannesburg, similar sentiments are shared by 70-year-old Sibongile Jiyane. Jiyane has been selling hot chips and kotas. For the last 16 years, her container has helped feed the Jiyane family and helped put her children through school.
But the increased cooking oil prices have forced Jiyane to let go of some of her staff. As she can’t afford to pay their salaries anymore or take her children to school.
Bakers are also facing similar challenges.
Masechaba’s Bakery owners Tebego and his wife Masechaba Lion, converted their garage into a bakery after they got retrenched.
The pair says their business had been growing, however, their preferred brand of margarine doubling in price in less than a month has affected pricing.