General workers are likely to cut down on food expenses: Household Affordability Index

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The Household Affordability Index shows that South Africans particularly general workers are likely to cut down on food expenses by almost half.

This is due to the high cost of living, forcing consumers to underspend on some items in order to increase their disposable income to survive the month.

The Household Affordability Index tracks food prices from 44 supermarkets and 30 butcheries in South Africa that target the low-income market.

According to the study, the increase in the cost of living is forcing consumers to leave out some basic items because there is less money in their pockets.

Programme co-ordinator of Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD), Mervyn Abrahams says, “Lower income households can no longer afford to buy sufficient and nutritious food because food has just become too expensive. The increase in taxi fares as well as electricity costs [are also putting pressure on the consumers].”

“We now see that for just these two costs, electricity and transport alone will take up about 58% of a national minimum wage of about R4000. And that would leave a household where income is at a national minimum wage, it would leave them with R1 709 to cover all the other expenses. In fact, there is no way food insecurity at a national level but there are massive food insecurities at a household level,” says Abrahams.

The video below discusses SA’s economic forecast with Saul Levin:

SA consumers feeling the pressure

In June, consumers said they were feeling the pressure of rising food and fuel costs which have pushed up inflation to its highest levels in five years.

Their comments come as data by Statistics South Africa indicates that the consumer price inflation (CPI), increased to 6.5% last month, from 5.9% in April.

The main driver of inflation in South Africa has come from food and fuel.

However, inflation has been on the increase globally, especially after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Central banks around the world have been trying to keep inflation down by raising interest rates.

Rising inflation and cost of living in SA: Khandani Msibi: