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Struggling South Africans hit with nearly 9% increase in food prices

Suthentira Govender Senior reporter
Struggling South Africans are paying more for basic food items. Stock photo.
Struggling South Africans are paying more for basic food items. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Asawin Klabma

South Africans are paying nearly 9% more for food compared to a year ago.

This is according to the latest Household Affordability Index compiled by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group and released on Monday.

The index shows the average cost of the household food basket is R4,355.70 for February.

A year ago the same basket cost R4,001.17.

According to the index, the cost has increased by 8.9% (R354.52).

However, on a month-to-month basis the cost of the basket dropped by R45.33 from R4,401.02 in January to R4,355.70 in February this year.

The February 2022 Household Affordability Index tracked food price data from 44 supermarkets and 30 butcheries in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg and Springbok in the Northern Cape.

“Food prices are tracked directly by women data collectors off the shelves of 44 supermarkets and 30 butcheries that target the low-income market, and which women identified as those at which they shop in the areas where they live,” said programme co-ordinator Mervyn Abrahams.

“Food selection at the supermarket shelves mirrors how women themselves make decisions at the shelves given affordability constraints. Foods are chosen on relative affordability and reasonable quality, and food brands are switched to seek the cheapest prices and special deals.

“The selection of food brands is dynamic and subjective. Women are savvy and shop around for bargains. This specific methodology used provides an accurate cost of a monthly household food basket as purchased by women living on low incomes.”


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