Today's Labour News

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newsTimesLive reports that cash-strapped South Africans are paying almost 14% more for basic food and personal hygiene items than a year ago, prompting fears of rising hunger, social instability and poor health.

The latest Household Affordability Index compiled by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD) shows the average cost of its goods basket increased by R560.57 (13.6%), to R4,688.81 in June 2022 from R4,128.23 a year earlier. The basket tracks food prices at 44 supermarkets and 30 butcheries in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg and Springbok in the Northern Cape. Of the 44 food items monitored, 29 cost more. “The escalation of food inflation on basic staple foods, one which households cannot absorb and one where no apparent relief is forthcoming, at least in the near term, is a major concern. This situation raises three red flags: increased hunger, increased risk of social instability and a general deterioration of health — with short- and long-term consequences,” said PMBEJD’s Mervyn Abrahams. He went on to predict: “Much higher commodity prices, production and logistical costs will continue to drive prices upwards and are likely to continue rising for the rest of 2022. All the local and global factors driving food prices upwards continue.” In July public transport fares are set to increase – including the cost of transporting children to school – and the annual electricity tariff hikes will come into effect.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Suthentira Govender at BusinessLive

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