The June 2022 Household Affordability Index in June shows that the average cost of the household food basket is R4 688.81.
The index tracks food price data from 44 supermarkets and 30 butcheries, in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg and Springbok.
The Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD) compiles the household affordability index each month and is a civil society initiative founded in July 2018.
According to the justice group, “Month-on-month the average cost of the household food basket increased by R78.92 (1.7%), from R4 609.89 in May 2022 to R4 688.81 in June 2022”.
“Year-on-year, the average cost of the household food basket increased by R560.57 (13.6%), from R4 128.23 in June 2021 to R4 688.81 in June 2022.”
Food baskets increased in all areas, according to the group:
- The Joburg basket increased by R122.65 (2.7%), and R532.85 (12.6%) year-on-year, to R4 749.16 in June 2022.
- The Durban basket increased by R73.19 (1.6%) and R687.74 (16.8%) year-on-year, to R4 782.78 in June 2022.
- The Cape Town basket increased by R46.32 (1%) and R470.81 (11.7%) year-on-year, to R4 490.84 in June 2022.
- The Springbok basket increased by R119.09 (2.4%) and increased by R517.58 (11.4%) year-on-year, to R5 046.45 in June 2022.
- The Pietermaritzburg basket increased by R138.56 (3.1%) and R649.89 (16.4%) year-on-year, to R4 602.52 in June 2022.
This situation raises three red flags: increased hunger, increased risk of social instability, and a general deterioration of health – with short-term and long-term consequences, the PMBEJD said.
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.
The group adds that food price inflation is likely to continue climbing, as winter enters its second month.
Your staple foods that have increased in price:
- Cooking oil (13%). A 5-litre bottle of cooking oil costs an average of R228.94 (a month-on-month (m-m) increase of R27.04).
- Cake flour (7%). A 10kg bag of cake flour costs an average of R115.90 (a m-m increase of R7.52).
- Brown bread (5%). A loaf of went up by an average of 60 cents, with June cost of R13.83.
- Onions (6%).
- Curry powder (6%). Onions, salt, curry powder and soup all went up above 3% – these are all critical to add palatability to food.
- Green pepper (10%).
- Cremora (5%).
- Apricot jam (5%).
- Maize meal (4%). A 10kg bag of maize meal went up by an average of R3.11, with June cost of R89.62; 30kg of maize meal, the typical quantity bought for a low-income household, costs R268.88 in June.
- Samp (3%).
- White bread (4%). A loaf of went up by an average of 60 cents, with June cost of R15.14.
- Salt (4%).
- Soup (3%).
- Margarine (4%)
- Cabbage (3%). A head of cabbage increased by 57 cents, with one cabbage averaging R19.71. Cabbage is a major staple food in the home.
- Maas (3%).
- Chicken feet (3%).
- Wors (4%).
- Inyama yangaphakathi (3%).
- Canned beans (3%).
WHAT HAS CAUSED THE INCREASE?
The PMBEJD argue that all the local and global factors driving food prices upwards have continued.
“Locally, the severe disruptions on our major transport routes, particularly between Gauteng and Durban, have impacted on food transportation (blockages, protests, bad road, accidents). 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.”
Statistics South Africa’s latest consumer price index (CPI), for May 2022, shows that headline inflation was 6.5%, and for the lowest expenditure quintiles 1-3, it is 8%, 7.4% and 6.8% respectively. CPI food inflation was 7.8%, public transport was 12.5%, and electricity was 14.4%.