File photo.

Rising food prices will especially hit the poorest of the poor, Uasa said on Thursday.

“South Africa’s workers just cannot afford the renewed threat of rising food prices,” union spokesman Andre Venter said.

He said low earners already spent the highest percentage of their income on food.

Between July 2010 and July 2011, food prices increased 7.4 percent, according to the August food price monitor produced by the National Agricultural Marketing Council.

This was markedly higher than headline inflation of 5.3 percent for the period, the council said in its report.

Venter said thousands of families were battling to make ends meet. In addition, these families also had to deal with electricity price increases, high levels of household debt, and possible increases in the unemployment rate.

“Uasa is particularly concerned about the effect of the slow economy on the well-being of the poorest of the poor, to whom this will prove yet another harsh economic blow,” he said. - Sapa