It has now become common for the Msunduzi municipality to invite our comments and inputs into their annual municipal tariff policy that sets the cost structure of services such as electricity, water and sanitation. Last year we argued that setting costs makes no sense without first conducting an affordability study to ascertain whether costs are affordable. Msunduzi agreed with our proposal but this year’s tariff policy again was set without taking affordability into regard.
PACSA Monthly Food Price Barometer
The January 2015 PACSA Monthly Food Price Barometer headlines ‘No drop in food prices as a result of the petrol price drop’.
The price of petrol has dropped by 25% since July 2014, and even considering the time lag, PACSA’s food price barometer shows an average increase in food prices of 0.7% from October 2014 till January 2015 (R1557.63 in October 2014 to R1568.25 in January 2015). STATS SA’s CPI food and non-alcoholic beverages index similarly showed a 0.9% increase between December 2014 and January 2015. Many are questioning why we have not seen a drop in food prices. Fuel is an input cost across the entire food value chain and in all foods.