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High food prices bad for all - Manuel

High food prices are having a negative impact on all South Africans, Minister Trevor Manuel said.

Fresh food. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Exorbitant food prices are having a negative impact on all South Africans, Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel said on Friday.

He made the comments during his address at the Food Security Summit in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

The minister also expressed concerns about high poverty levels and the need for food banks.

Recent studies found 88 percent of poor households in Cape Town struggle to access food on a daily basis.

Many families survive on sweet tea and dry bread.

Manuel said a hike in food prices has an impact on everyone.

"I think it's a campaign we must all take up. We've seen too many farmers drop out of the industry because it's not a very profitable enterprise, yet food prices remain strong.

"Packaging, transport and distribution systems actually add to prices. If we want to ensure food security, then we have to unpack all of these issues and make sure that we have more direct channels of food availability to people at better prices."