SA consumers warned of steep food prices amid price increases

Municipal rates are going up, which means consumers will be paying more for water and electricity, and at the same time, the latest fuel price hikes kick in on Wednesday.

Picture: Freeimages.com

JOHANNESBURG - South Africans have been warned that food prices are expected to spike off the back of several increases that come into effect this month.

Municipal rates are going up, which means consumers will be paying more for water and electricity, and at the same time, the latest fuel price hikes kick in on Wednesday.

These increases will have a direct impact on food prices which have already gone up significantly in the past 10 months.

According to researcher Julie Smith, who compiles data for Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (Pacsa) and the Pietermaritzburg Justice and Dignity Group, food prices increased by about 7% between September and June.

At the same time, certain products have increased significantly. Eggs, for instance, have gone up by 23%, onions have increased by a whopping 109% while potatoes now cost 31% more.

Smith explains that there are a number of reasons for this.

“A lot of our vegetables are seasonal. The input costs also around our protein, our dairy products, beef, chicken, [and] eggs. All of the input costs increase because the electricity price increases.”

Smith says she also expects food prices to go up by around 5% in the coming months as a direct result of the electricity and fuel hikes.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)