Explained: Why South Africa’s Food Trolley Has Gone Up At Least 12% This Year, Impact Increased Fuel Prices

Explained: Why South Africa’s Food Trolley Has Gone Up At Least 12% This Year, Impact Increased Fuel Prices

South Africans have started to notice that food and basic essentials are getting more and more expensive as the months go by. The recent fuel price hike has caused even more anxiety about how much more they will have to pay for their food basket.

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South Africans have been finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet in this current economic climate. Many have started to notice that the cost of living is not what it used to be and basic food prices are going up on a month-to-month basis.

On Tuesday, 31 May, the Department of Energy and Minerals announced that the fuel price will hike up to a record high price of R24.17/litre for 95-octane fuel and R23.94/litre for 93. With rising fuel prices, there is a concern that food and other necessary expenses will also cost more.

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South Africa, economy, food prices, food basket, fuel prices
South Africans have to face the harsh reality that food is getting more expensive. Images: Getty Images/Stock Images
Source: Getty Images

What is causing the rise in food prices?

In March 2022, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) announced that global food prices went up by 12.5%, the highest hike in years. The main reason behind this has been Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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Russia and Ukraine are some of the world's biggest suppliers of essentials such as maize, sunflower oil and barley. The war caused disruptions in food markets across the world. With fewer goods being exported from these countries, prices went up because the products usually exported by Russia and Ukraine are still in demand, reports IOL.

South Africa has also seen a rise in the inflation rate, from 4.8% to 5.2% this year. This has been attributed to the fact that it has become more expensive to import goods into the country and this has also been caused by the fuel prices going up.

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A few years ago, freight rates were approximately R29 280 and now it costs about R217 931, an increase of 500%, according to Cargo Compass CEO Sebastiano Lorio.

Other factors include the Covid-19 pandemic that hampered global economies. The KwaZulu-Natal unrest and floods have also contributed to goods becoming more expensive in South Africa particularly.

The destruction caused by both the unrest and floods means the province has been struggling to rebuild its economy.

How much can South Africans expect to pay for a food basket?

The Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD) recently released the latest Household Affordability Index, which tracks the food prices from 44 supermarkets and 30 butcheries in various South African cities.

These cities include Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg, Durban and Springbok in the Northern Cape, reports TimesLIVE.

The two KwaZulu-Natal cities, Durban and Pietermaritzburg, saw a huge increase in the food basket. A food basket in Durban cost R4,709.59 which translates to an increase of R126.54 for the month of May. While the food basket in Pietermaritzburg set back residents R4,463.96 with an increase of R128.13.

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The price of a food basket in Johannesburg increased by R63.43 and cost R4,626.51 in May, while Cape Town saw an increase of only R14.10 and which amounts to R4,444.52.

Springbok is the only city that saw a decrease in the price of the food basket by R32.65, however, a food basket in Springbok is the most expensive in South Africa and costs R4,927.36.

The price increases were seen in food items such as cooking oil by 5% in potatoes, onions, chicken livers, carrots and spinach.

"Increases also include maize meal, cake flour, frozen chicken portions, stock cubes, wors, tomatoes, cabbage and white bread,” read the report.

South Africans share how their food baskets have changed

Briefly News readers have started to feel the pinch of the increasing food prices. Some people complained about cooking oil becoming too expensive, while others feel they can't afford anything.

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There were some people who simply could not understand why the government has not intervened.

Here are some comments below:

Andreas Schlag said:

"Some things are getting a bit too expensive, actually, nearly all basic foodstuff has gone up on a monthly basis. That already started during Covid-19. So I don't know what this has to do with this war in Ukraine."

Linda Lista Singama said:

"As people, we must show the Government that we had enough. This must come to an end with immediate effect. We just need to unite."

Zabalaza Ka Ndlovu said:

"Can't afford anything."

Enipher Makgabo sid:

"Yhoo everything actually paraffin, electricity then add fish oil."

Blvck Hopper said:

"Ohhh cooking oil has turned to be way too expensive now‍♂️‍♂️"

Kabinda Surviver said:

"Why can't we make our own oil and petrol? I'm saying this with an idea in my mind that those things I mentioned are not made in SA, if so please correct me."

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Jimmy Ngwira said:

"As South African citizens we put the whole south africa on standstill and let the government listen to us for a change "

SA needs economic reform policies that work for the country, says economist

Briefly News previously reported that South African economist and founder of economic consulting and advisory company Naha Investments, Dr Thabi Leoka, says in order for South Africa's economy to prosper, there is a need for economic reform policies in the country.

Leoka says South Africa also needs to realign its policies and focus its efforts on getting the basics right first. She added that South Africa's economy is not what it tries to be.

She added for South Africa's economy to better prosper, the government needs to focus on fixing the education system, rework the economic policies that are not working for the South African population as well as deploy the spectrum as fast as feasible in the telecoms space, reports BusinessTech.

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Source: Briefly News

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