Food poverty line now at R624: Stats SA

Ernest Mabuza Journalist
The food poverty line is pegged at R624, Statis SA says. This is the amount an individual will need to afford the minimum required daily energy intake. Stock photo.
The food poverty line is pegged at R624, Statis SA says. This is the amount an individual will need to afford the minimum required daily energy intake. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/RICHARD THOMAS

The food poverty line increased to R624 in April this year, up from R585 the previous year, Statistics SA (Stats SA) said in its release of the National Poverty Lines 2021.

This amount per person per month, also known as the extreme poverty line, is the amount an individual will need to afford the minimum required daily energy intake.

Apart from the food poverty line, there are two other inflation-adjusted national poverty lines.

The lower-bound poverty line, of R890 per person per month in April 2021 (up from R840 in April 2020), refers to the food poverty line plus the average amount derived from non-food items of households whose total expenditure is equal to the food poverty line.

The upper-bound poverty line refers to the food poverty line plus the average amount derived from non-food items of households whose food expenditure is equal to the food poverty line.

The upper-bound poverty line in April 2021 price was R1,335 per person per month, up from R1,268 in April 2020.

Stats SA said on Thursday the national poverty lines were constructed using the cost-of-basic-needs approach which links welfare to the consumption of goods and services.

It said poverty lines were important tools that allow for the statistical reporting of poverty levels and patterns.

In 2007, Stats SA was officially tasked by the government to establish a threshold that could be used in standardising the money-metric measurement of poverty for the country.

Stats SA said the national poverty lines were developed to improve the country’s ability to target developmental policies and programmes. 

It said the national poverty lines were not designed to be used for determination of equitable share to provinces, setting the national minimum wage and determining the amount to be paid for social grants.

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