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Latest price barometer shows hike in basic food items

The Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action says the prices of basic food staples saw the sharpest increases this month - putting poor households under even more pressure. 

Staple food
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PACSA released its monthly food price barometer yesterday. 

PACSA's Mervyn Abrahams says a food basket of basic essentials has increased by R143 since November to more than R3110 in January 2018. 

"The sharpest increases that we have observed are on the most basic staple food that every household requires. Amongst them are maize meal, rice, sugar, cooking oil. 

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"These are essential for households to prepare meals and provide the basic form of nutrition," he says.

Abrahams says January is also a tough month for most households.

"Out of 30 million black South Africans of working age - only 12.2-million are employed.  Which means there's only one worker employed for every four people. The median wage is R2900 a month - which is lower than the basket of 38 foods," he says.

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