‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest’ – Benjamin Franklin

The economic situation:

‘South Africa’s rand has tumbled by 21% against the US dollar this year.’ – FNB Blog
International markets have been showing increased volatility recently, and the weakening Rand is a concern for everybody who relies on imported products. Schools, of course, who import many of their supplies, are negatively affected by the weakening Rand. Let us examine the impact of this on schools, and find out what can be done in order to make the best possible purchasing decisions in this situation.

Impact on schools:

The most obvious effect on schools is an increase in the price of imported goods such as electronics, through all sectors. Schools, however, should be aware of further, hidden cost implications for them. Often the price that has been discussed or quoted increases during the delivery time as goods are imported and bought through a fluctuating foreign currency.

What can you do?

1) Discuss possible price increases with your suppliers, and make sure that the quotation specifies that there will be no increase before delivery.
2) Examine the yearly school budget, and plan carefully for possible price increases.
3) Allow some leeway in the budget for imported good.
4) It might also pay to look for local alternatives to imported products.

Relevant tips:

  • Examine your budget for the year as a whole, and decide on where your priorities lie.
  • Buy well, and examine all your options. It might make more financial sense to buy something slightly more expensive, but that will give you better use for a longer time.
  • Remember maintenance and upkeep, especially for electronics, and factor these into your budget.
  • Enforce standardization in electronics, which will save money in upkeep and spare parts.
  • Ask for a discount and especially group discount. Schools have large buying power, and it is to your advantage to consider this when bargaining.


We know that everybody is feeling the financial pinch, but with careful planning and the right suppliers, schools can still meet all their needs while staying within budget.