Africa cities

Explained: why South Africa’s food basket has grown by at least 12% this year

South Africans have started noticing that food and basic necessities are getting more and more expensive as the months go by. The recent fuel price hike has raised even more concerns about the extra amount they will have to pay for their food basket.

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South Africans are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet in the current economic climate. Many have started noticing that the cost of living is not what it used to be and the prices of basic foodstuffs are increasing month by month.

On Tuesday May 31, the Ministry of Energy and Minerals announced that the price of fuel would increase to a record high of R24.17/litre for 95 octane fuel and R23.94 /litre for 93. With rising fuel prices, it is feared that food and other necessary expenses will also cost more.

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South Africa, economy, food prices, food basket, fuel prices
South Africans have to face the harsh reality that food is becoming more and more expensive. Images: Getty Images/Stock Images
Source: Getty Images

What is causing rising food prices?

In March 2022, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) announced that world food prices had risen by 12.5%, the highest increase in years. The main reason behind this was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Russia and Ukraine are among the world’s largest suppliers of essential products such as corn, sunflower oil and barley. The war has caused disruptions in food markets around the world. With fewer goods being exported from these countries, prices have risen because products usually exported by Russia and Ukraine are still in demand, reports IOLs.

South Africa has also seen an increase in the inflation rate, from 4.8% to 5.2% this year. This has been attributed to the fact that it has become more expensive to import goods into the country and it has also been caused by rising fuel prices.

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A few years ago freight rates were around R29,280 and now it costs around R217,931, a 500% increase, according to Cargo Compass CEO Sebastiano Lorio.

Other factors include the Covid-19 pandemic which has hampered global economies. The unrest and flooding in KwaZulu-Natal has also contributed to making goods more expensive in South Africa in particular.

The destruction caused by both unrest and flooding means the province is struggling to rebuild its economy.

How much can South Africans expect to pay for a food basket?

The Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD) recently released the latest Household Affordability Indexwhich tracks food prices from 44 supermarkets and 30 butcher shops in various South African cities.

These cities include Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg, Durban and Springbok in the Northern Cape, reports SchedulesLIVE.

Both KwaZulu-Natal cities, Durban and Pietermaritzburg, have seen their food baskets increase significantly. A food basket in Durban costs R4,709.59, which translates to an increase of R126.54 for the month of May. While the food basket in Pietermaritzburg set residents back R4,463.96 with an increase of R128.13.

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The price of a food basket in Johannesburg rose by R63.43 to R4,626.51 in May, while Cape Town saw an increase of just R14.10 to R4,444. R52.

Springbok is the only town that has seen a food basket price drop of R32.65, however, a food basket in Springbok is the most expensive in South Africa and costs R4,927.36.

Price increases were seen in food items such as 5% cooking oil in potatoes, onions, chicken livers, carrots and spinach.

“Increases also include corn flour, cake flour, frozen chicken portions, stock cubes, wors, tomatoes, cabbage and white bread,” the report read.

South Africans tell how their food baskets have changed

In brief News readers began to feel the pinch of rising food prices. Some people have complained that the cooking oil is getting too expensive, while others feel they can’t afford anything.

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Some people just couldn’t understand why the government hadn’t intervened.

Here are some comments below:

Andreas Schlag said:

“Some things are getting a bit overpriced, in fact almost all basic foodstuffs have gone up every month. It’s already started during Covid-19. So I don’t know what it has to do with this war in Ukraine .”

Linda Lista Singama said:

“As a people, we need to show the government that we’ve had enough. This needs to end with immediate effect. We just need to unite.”

Zabalaza Ka Ndlovu said:

“I can’t afford anything.”

Enipher Makgabo sid :

“Yhoo does everything from paraffin, electricity and then fish oil.”

Blvck Hopper said:

“Ohhh the cooking oil has gotten way too expensive now‍♂️‍♂️”

Kabinda Survivor said:

“Why can’t we make our own oil and gasoline? I say this with an idea in my mind that these things I mentioned are not made in South Africa, if so please correct me please.”

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Jimmy Ngwira said:

“As South African citizens, we bring the whole of South Africa to a standstill and let the government listen to us for change”

South Africa needs economic reform policies that work for the country, says economist

In brief News previously reported that South African economist and founder of economic consultancy and advisory firm Naha Investments, Dr Thabi Leoka, said that for the South African economy to thrive, policies need to be put in place economic reform in the country.

Leoka says South Africa also needs to realign its policies and focus its efforts on getting the basics in place. She added that the South African economy is not what it tries to be.

She added that for the South African economy to thrive, the government needs to focus on fixing the education system, reworking the economic policies that are not working for the people of South Africa, and rolling out spectrum as quickly as possible across the country. telecommunications space, reports BusinessTech.

Source: News in Brief