The latest household affordability index has shown that inflation which is continuing to increase in South Africa is severely affecting the country’s poorest households.

The Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group says the average household food basket for low-income households rose by nearly R100 compared to last month.

It has increased by around R400 compared to this time a year ago.

“The food prices are being driven up by the increase in the electricity tariff which was implemented in June and July. It was a 14.59% increase and electricity runs through our food value chains and it is now reflecting on our supermarket shelves. The 2nd thing is there is an element of seasonality so, for example, potatoes and tomatoes are more expensive in October generally. Then, the cost of transport also appears to be increasing the prices on supermarket shelves,” says Dr Julie Smith, Researcher.

Ever-increasing food prices in SA: Dr Julie Smith