Grain SA attributes high maize price increase to Zuma's sacking of Nene

Grain South Africa says the accumulated increase for maize for this season is estimated at R3 million.

Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Grain South Africa says the cost of importing maize into the country has increased by 15 percent since President Jacob Zuma fired Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister and the accumulated increase for the season is estimated at R3 million.

Grain SA says 8 percent of the increase is due to the falling rand and 7 percent due to the drought.

South Africa usually exports around two million tons of maize every year generating R6 billion for the economy, but due to this year's drought, this has not happened.

It says the country's maize traders will import 770,000 tons of maize during the 2015/2016 season, at a price of R2,2 billion; 80 percent of this had been imported before the rand tumbled last week.

The additional 20 percent will be imported with a weaker rand.

Grain SA economist Wandile Sihlobo said, "We saw the maize prices raising at about R4,000 per tonne of white maize. On the yellow maize side going up from levels of about R2,900 to R3,400 a tonne so that is significant inflation pressure on the prices."

A citizen-driven movement aimed at putting pressure on the ANC to recall Zuma gained momentum on social media after Nene was axed.

Demonstrations were held in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town as the country marked Reconciliation Day.