Cabinet calls for investigation into soaring food prices

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Cabinet has tasked the government’s economic cluster with examining the escalating food price increases and their impact on the everyday lives of ordinary South Africans.

Minister in the Presidency Kumbudzo Ntshavheni says food prices have risen sharply since the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Ntshaveni says the monitoring of prices is critical.

Basic food costs 10% more

Amid the escalating food prices, consumers now find themselves paying more for basics than they did a year ago.

The Household Affordability Index report compiled by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group, just under two month ago, shows that basic food costs 10% more.

Meanwhile, consultancy firm, Deloitte recently published its Food Frugality Index for June 2023. The index indicates that consumers are changing their food purchasing habits due to the higher inflation environment.

Although Stats SA reports that inflation is generally slowing down, food inflation remains one of the categories that has not yet shown significant improvement.

Deloitte Index suggests that consumers have become increasingly mindful of their grocery purchases. This is due to stagnant wages and rising inflation, causing the value of the rand to decrease in people’s pockets.

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