Concern as food prices increase by almost 9% within a year
South Africans have been hit hard by rising food prices with the cost of the basic household food basket increasing by nearly 9% in the last year.
This is according to the latest Household Affordability Index report released by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group (PMBEJD) on Wednesday.
The index tracks food price data from 44 supermarkets and 30 butcheries in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg and Springbok in the Northern Cape.
The average cost of the household food basket increased by R125.08 (2.9%), from R4,275.94 in December 2021 to R4,401.02 in January.
The index also showed the average cost of the food basket increased by R349.82 (8.6%), from R4,051.20 in January 2021 to R4,401.02 in January 2022.
“In January 2022, of the 17 foods considered core foods which should reasonably be found in most homes and which are prioritised and bought first, 15 increased in price,” the report stated.
The PMBEJD's Mervyn Abrahams said the cost of the foods prioritised and bought first is important.
“The core foods are bought first and ensure families do not go hungry while ensuring meals can be cooked.
“When the prices of core foods increase, there is less money to secure other important nutritionally rich foods which are essential for health and wellbeing and a strong immune system. Meat, eggs and dairy are critical for protein, iron and calcium; vegetables and fruit are critical for vitamins, minerals and fibre; and maas, peanut butter and pilchards are good fats, protein and calcium essential for children.
“The data shows the core foods contribute 53% of the total cost of the household food basket.
“The high cost of core staple foods results in a lot of nutritious food being removed off family plates.
“The consequences of high costs of core foods has a negative impact on overall household health and wellbeing and child development.”
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