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Bumper crops, yet food prices are spiralling. Why? Something is not right

28 January 2021 2:43 PM
Tags:
Food production
Food prices
Food price inflation
Agriculture
Food
Lester Kiewit
The Midday Report on CapeTalk
Household food basket
Household Affordability Index
Mervyn Abrahams
Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity
PMBEJD

"A basket of basic foods has breached the minimum wage," says Mervyn Abrahams. Working hard, yet your kids go to bed hungry...

South Africa is a hungry nation.

Households spend almost R200 per month more on essentials than five months ago, according to the latest Household Affordability Index.

The Index tracks food prices in 44 supermarkets and 30 butcheries in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg, and Springbok.

It is compiled by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity group (PMBEJD).

© addtodsaporn/123rf.com

Foods driving this (% increase in five months):

  • Sugar beans (33%)

  • Maize meal (15%)

  • Samp (7%)

  • White sugar (5%)

  • Cooking oil (4%)

  • Potatoes (4%)

  • White bread (4%)

  • Brown bread (4%)

  • Rice (3%)

  • Cake flour (3%)

  • Onions (2%)

The national minimum wage is R3321.60, which is less than the average cost of the “Household Food Basket” of R4051.20.

In other words, the poorest South Africans – even if they work hard at a low-paying job - cannot eat enough nutritious food.

Our economy is not life-sustaining; we are not feeding our kids.

Lester Kiewit interviewed Mervyn Abrahams, Programme Coordinator at PMBEJD.

A basket of basic foods has breached the minimum wage. About 60% of employed South Africans earn at that level…

Mervyn Abrahams, Programme Coordinator - PMBEJD

We’re not tracking any luxuries, only basic foods, basic vegetables, and a bit of fruit…

Mervyn Abrahams, Programme Coordinator - PMBEJD

Maize meal – we had a bumper crop last year! I don’t see lower prices coming through…

Mervyn Abrahams, Programme Coordinator - PMBEJD

Listen to the interview in the audio below [skip to 5:09].




28 January 2021 2:43 PM
Tags:
Food production
Food prices
Food price inflation
Agriculture
Food
Lester Kiewit
The Midday Report on CapeTalk
Household food basket
Household Affordability Index
Mervyn Abrahams
Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity
PMBEJD

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