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Cost of living for the poor goes up

According to StatsSA the new Food Poverty Line stands at R585 per person for a month, a R24 increase from the previous year Photo: Facebook

According to StatsSA the new Food Poverty Line stands at R585 per person for a month, a R24 increase from the previous year Photo: Facebook

Published Aug 14, 2020

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Durban - THE new Food Poverty Line stands at R585 per person for a month, a R24 increase from the previous year, said a Statistics South Africa report that was released on Thursday.

The report comes as the South African economy has been battered by the economic crisis brought on by the lockdown that was implemented because of Covid-19.

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StatsSA said the purpose of poverty lines was to help governments to plan policies around tackling and eradicating poverty, and developing policies.

The figure for the Food Poverty Line only covers the calories a person needs in a day.

According to the report, the Lower Bound Poverty Line, which included food and non-food household items, was R840, an increase of R30 from 2019. The Upper Bound Poverty Line stood at R1268.

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The report was criticised because it did not reflect the actual situation.

Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity group researcher Julie Smith said the report did not portray a complete picture and was not “nutritionally” complete.

“It would be better to track a proper food basket,” she said.

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Smith said although she accepted that StatsSA said this was by no means a complete picture of what people needed, it was not particularly useful.

Using the R585 figure for the Food Poverty Line, she said the amount that people received for the child support grant was 25% less than the FPL, meaning that people received grants that were below the poverty line.

She said from the latest research that the NPO had done, food prices had increased.

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