Sellers and consumers complain the increase was not accompanied by increase in salaries.
The increase in the prices of drinks, especially beer which went operational since January 1, 2010 is causing a stir within the ranks of consumers and people who make ends meet through the sale of drinks. While consumers are blaming their now low consumption of beer on the new prices, sellers say they are unable to realise returns as before and so their living standards as well as those of people depending on them have dropped. “We are now working for brewery companies given that we can no longer make ends meet with the discouragingly high prices”, a sales man said at a drinking spot in Mvog-mbi yesterday.
CT visited some drinking spots in the country’s capital city, Yaounde, yesterday and although consumers were complaining of what they termed the arbitrary increase in the prices of beer, they still remained glued to the bottle. “Beer is like food to us and increasing its price without a corresponding increase in the income of citizens to meet up with the new prices is unfair”, Alain Chetou, whom we met in a drinking spot at Mvog-mbi, complained. Like Chetou, other consumers said life is already hard for citizens and increasing prices of highly-consumed products like beer is synonymous with worsening the already bad situation. “What is the income of an average Cameroonian to buy a bottle of beer at FCFA 600?”, one of the drinkers complained. According to salesmen, people have kept complaining from when the new prices went operational. “The new prices might not have reduced the number of people drinking but the quantity of beer they now drink is reduced and so our revenue”, Mathieu, Manager Vita Bar at Mvog Atangana Mballa complained. He said the situation, already made worse by the usual financial hardship of January is further exacerbated by the inadequate supply of some brands of beer. “Mutzig, Beaufort Light and Amstel, among others, are scarce and these are some of the highly-consumed drinks”, Mr Mathieu lamented. Like him, other salesmen advocated an increase in workers’ incomes so that they can in turn drink more for people depending on the sales of the drinks to also live. They however declined disclosing how much they sold before and how they are selling now with the new prices
Originaly posted on Cameroon Tribune