Stats lay bare skyrocketing prices of food

Stats lay bare skyrocketing prices of food

South African consumers are, on average, paying R2,279 more for food compared to five years ago. 

A person giving another person warm bowl of food
A person giving another person warm bowl of food/iStock/kuarmungadd

That's according to a local group monitoring food security.


 It says an average food basket cost R3,051 in May 2019, a figure that increased to R5,330 in May. 


The price of onions, tomatoes, apples, and samp has skyrocketed by 110 to 190% over the past five years.

ALSO READ: Food price hikes preventing South Africans from buying healthy food


The stats are contained in the latest Household Affordability Index by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group.


Researcher Mervyn Abrahams says there are numerous factors at play.


"We've had due political factors before those climatic changes impacting America, for instance,  increasing the price of maize during this period.


“And then locally, we've had a lot of impact largely load shedding and our infrastructure difficulties that we've had in the country. All of this had the premium on the food that we pay for when we're going to the retail store."    


Abrahams says a new government of national unity needs to be mindful of the high cost of living:


"The middle class are under immense burden because more and more we are seeing that they are buying their food on credit cards, and there are very high interest rates. The debt services that are charged increased as well. We are going have to change the way we produce our foods in order to create more localised systems rather than massive commercial farms."  

Listen to Newswatch reporter Tamasha Khanyi's full interview with Abrahams about the country’s food price challenges and possible solutions here:

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