Consumers hit hard as food costs 10% more than last year
Food costs 10% more in South Africa than it did one year ago, with basics such as eggs, milk and vegetables more expensive.
The latest Household Affordability Index report, compiled by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD), has unpacked the cost of the basic food basket, which shows the average cost increased by R461.70 (10%), from R4,609.89 in May 2022 to R5,071.59 in May 2023.
The index tracks food price data from 47 supermarkets and 32 butcheries in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg, Mtubatuba and Springbok in Northern Cape.
Foods which increased in price by 5% or more in May include onions, carrots, butternut and bananas. Maize meal, tea, full cream milk, eggs, peanut butter, salt and spinach increased by 2% or more.
The report states: “The national minimum wage (NMW) is R25.42 an hour and R203.36 for an eight-hour day.
“In May 2023, with 22-working days, the maximum NMW for a general worker is R4,473.92. Workers work to support their families.
“The wage workers earn is not to sustain themselves alone, it is used to support the entire family. One wage typically must support four people.
“Dispersed in a worker’s family of four persons, the NMW is reduced to R1,118.48 per person. This is below the upper-bound poverty line of R1,417 per person per month.”
PMBEJD's Mervyn Abrahams said workers will underspend on food because they have to cover transport and electricity costs.
“In this scenario there is no possibility of a worker being able to afford enough nutritious food for her family.”
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