Hold your horses as always I am just starting this blog with the punch line.
Geko Divers is not going anywhere and if you haven’t noticed we have an awesome new look shop inside and out
So Feel free to come say Hi and see what we have to offer
I remember a holiday like yesterday it was “my Matric year June school holiday” we arrived in Margate for our yearly ocean holiday (my favorite) On arrival everyone parked the caravans and pitched the tents and then like a massive easter hunt it was time to find the cheapest beer in Town, Each “oomie” and his “laities” shot in every direction scouting every bottle store the south coast had to offer. Now that was a yearly event why did this year stand out above the rest? Well this was the first year not a single oomie could find a case of Castle for less then R49.99 thats right a case of 24 beers for R49.99 all hell broke loose. The oomies wanted to import beer from the Free state a mass action was launched in the camp to see if everyone together could not convince the cheapest bottle store to supply the campsite in bulk but R49.99 was the limit.
Back to the reason I wanted to write this Blog.
Winter is a hard time for the Dive industry and the time we see most of the smaller dive shops fade away causing the question to come up ever so often why did yet another shop close down?
Truth is its not only the Dive shops but also the Dive charters at the coast having a hard time and closing down.
First thing that comes to mind when I get asked this question is what I Paid for my very first Dive course in 1996 and what did I pay for my very first dive in Sodwana in 1996
Lets play with some hard numbers and Facts
My First Open water course costed me R1699 for inland diving excluding any transport or entrance fees
My first Dive in Sodwana costed me R180 excluding any gear or cylinder rental
At first glance you might think whoooo it has gotten expensive to dive well Wrong in 22 years a lot of things has changed
Lets take Gear used for training: I did my course in 1996 in gear worth R8000 today we teach people in a set of gear valued at R65 000
We dived of a Ruber Ducks in Sodwana and I remember the club bought a brand new one in 1999 for R75 000 Today the boats we use cost new R495 000 +
So the price of a boat has gone up with about 650% in the 22 years and gear about 800% over the 22 years
So this sounds even more Ridiculous to you right now but lets look at other things we buy
$1 = R3.95 today $1 = 13.72 that is a 350%
Petrol in 2000 cost R1,73 Today R15,86 that is 900%
Bread in 2000 cost R2,70 today R12,99 that is 450%
big mac in 2000 cost R7 today R29,50 that is 430%
telkom line rental in 2004 R82 today R180 that is 220% in 14 years
6 pack of coke in 2006 cost 16.7 Today R36,99 that is 230% in 12 years
so we looking at avg of about 24% per year
Taking into account that all our Dive gear gets imported in SA with and AVG price increase per year plus the loss against the US$ the 800% increase is inline with the Rest of items I used
R8000 plus avg of 430% R34 400 plus the 350% we lost in value against the US$ could take the price well over above the R100 000
So back to where we are R65 000 for the gear and R495 000 for the boat is totally inline with the rest of goods sold in SA over the past 20 years
So that brings us to the price of a Dive course
R1699 plus 430% = R7305.00
Dive in Sodwana R180 plus 430% = R774
Then a course and a dive would carry the exact same Value as in 1996 when I first dived
The average Going rate for a Dive in Sodwana Today is R350 That is less than 200% since 1996 or in 22 years
and a Dive course inland is R3800 that is 220% since 1996 or in 22 years
So Why did That SCUBA SHOP close down?
because the expenses has grown with over 400% and the prices has only gone up with 200%
Leaving me with a huge question mark on my Face why do you want to argue that R350 is way to much to pay for a dive in Sodwana
if beer went from R49 per case to R264 per case that is more than 500%