Witness Reporter
2 minute read
1 Dec 2021
06:36

Slight drop in cost of groceries in November

Witness Reporter

The cost of most household food baskets in the country decreased in November compared to the month of October.

The cost of most household food baskets in the country decreased in November compared to the month of October.

This was revealed by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group (PMBEJD) in the November Household Affordability Index.

PMBEJD said that in November, the average cost of the household food basket was R4 272,44 — a decrease by -1% from R4 317,56 in October.

“There comes a time where the gap between what financial resources families can gather and the costs of goods and services becomes so large that even moderate to substantial decreases in the cost of food really makes very little difference in the lives of millions of South African households,”
Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group

The index also revealed that food prices are extremely volatile at the moment because of the steeper fuel price hikes and higher cost of transportation, the weakening rand and the higher electricity prices in the long value chains.

The November 2021 Household Affordability Index tracked food price data from 44 supermarkets and 30 butcheries — in Pietermaritzburg, Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

“Millions of South Africans cannot afford food. There comes a time where the gap between what financial resources families can gather and the costs of goods and services becomes so large that even moderate to substantial decreases in the cost of food really makes very little difference in the lives of millions of South African households,” said the PMBEJD.

It added that their analysis is that food prices will continue their upward trajectory for the foreseeable future, saying that the festive season always ushers in both higher prices and unbelievable savings.

The group said this Christmas will not be different from ones before, adding that it will be important that prices remain fair during this period.

PMBEJD added that for women and children in November, the average cost to feed a child a basic nutritious diet cost R744,96, adding that as children grow older their nutritional needs increase, and the cost to feed a growing child increases.

“In April, government provided an annual increase in the child support grant of R10 for the 2021/22 term. The grant is a uniform grant of R460; it does not account for the growth of a child or the gender of a child. In November, the child support grant of R460 is 26% below the Food Poverty Line of R624, and 38% below the average cost to feed a child a basic nutritious diet of R744,96,” said PMBEJD.