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Articles in Category: PACSA and Partners in the Media

 

 


No cash for Christmas cheer

It is going to be an expensive Christmas for consumers. Durban counselling agencies and economists have painted a gloomy picture of this festive season as food prices rise, and have urged the “working middle class” to spend cautiously at this time. The prices of food essentials rose more than 2 percent in the past month, according to Mervyn Abrahams, director of the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (Pacsa), who runs a monthly food price barometer.

Health-E News: Fighting for food as costs soar

You know the story. You go to the supermarket and come out with less than expected, having paid more than you had budgeted for. Food inflation has risen rapidly over the past year, fueled by the drought, a weak rand and, some say, market manipulation by retailers. A 25kg bag of maize meal – South Africa’s staple food – has increased by almost a third in the past year, now costing R225, 82. Meanwhile, onions cost 75% more and potatoes 70% more than a year ago. “The prices really get your heart beating. All of the big things have gone up,” a woman told the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (PACSA), which monitors the cost of food.

Read the full article here published by Daily Maverick on 24 Oct 2016

Families struggling to afford food as prices soar

Families are either eating less or going into debt as a means to put food on the table. Mervyn Abrahams, director of the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (Pacsa) listed the foods and the increase in price. “Maize meal has increased by 32%, rice by 19%, sugar 28% and cooking oil 22%. Food prices are increasing substantially. The drought has had a major impact together with the fluctuations of the rand/dollar exchange.”  
 
Listen here to the podcast of the interview on Cape Talk Radio on 14 October 2016

At What Level Should a Minimum Wage Be Set

Listen to a podcast on Morning Talk Live on SAFM radio on the National Minimum Wage in which PACSA’s Mervyn Abrahams was one of the panelists.  

https://www.sendspace.com/file/7oz8m6

 

Happy Holidays

[1] Data sourced from Stats SA Quarterly Labour Force Survey, Q2, 2016 & Stats SA Mid-year population estimates, 2016.

[1] Data sourced from Stats SA Quarterly Labour Force Survey, Q2, 2016 & Stats SA Mid-year population estimates, 2016 & STATS SA General Household Survey 2015, 2016.
[1] The transport costs will be much higher if workers live further from work.
[1] Note that these figures exclude the cost of servicing debt, health care, rent, emergencies, amongst others.

Inside Labour: For the poor, policy offers little relief

With the usual flurry of comment and analysis, another mini budget has come and gone. But for the majority of workers, whether employed or unemployed, such policy machinations are of little interest because they are too busy trying to survive in an increasingly harsh environment. Inflation for the poor – always much higher than the official cost of living index – has risen steadily and looks likely to rise still further. In the year to the end of September, for example, that staple of poor households, mealie meal, rose in price by more than 32% – a 25kg bag now costs R170.80 more than it did a year ago. According to the food monitor maintained by the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action, five “priority foods” bought by poorer households rose in price by an average of 25% over that 12-month period.

Read the full article here published by Fin24.com on 30 October 2016

Drought, politics, the economy – this is why food prices have sky rocketed

It is becoming increasingly difficult to put food on the tables of lower-income households – basic food now cost 15% more than they did a year ago – and politics, the drought and the economy have been given the blame. According to the 2016 Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action food price barometer annual report, food prices have sky rocketed.

Read the full article here published by City Press on 14 October 2016

A National Minimum Wage of R3 500 is too low and could trap millions of workers in continuing cycles of poverty

The low proposed National Minimum Wage of R3 500 per month is not enough for workers to support their families, nor does it address our historical racial wage structure. After this figure has been legislated, we suspect that it will institutionalise South Africa’s low-wage trajectory and deepen income inequality.  Read the Media Statement here