Articles in Category: PACSA and Partners in the Media
NOW is the winter of our discontent. Bills are piling up and Durban households are feeling the strain as lights and water charges are set to rise this month, with fuel, food and transport costs also increasing. Economists have warned this will put a strain on already over- indebted households, while the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (Pacsa) has warned of growing food costs.
Looming food price hikes could be affecting our waistline more than we think. This is according to director of Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (PACSA), Mervin Abrahams who conducts numerous studies into the price of food and its effects on consumers.
South Africans are forced to eat cheaper, less healthy food to avoid falling into deeper debt in an effort to put food on the table. Food price monitoring organisation, Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action, released the findings.
“Increasing food prices lead to the poor not paying for municipal services and transport in favour of groceries. This is the outcome of research done by the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (Pacsa) on its monthly food price barometer. March statistics show that the food baskets increased to R1 869.39, 58% of R3 200, which is regarded as the typical family income for in Pietermaritzburg.
South Africans are being forced to eat cheaper, less healthy food and get into debt to buy groceries. These are the findings of the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action, which has been monitoring food prices since 2006.
The cost of food could rise by a whopping 30% in the next year. Due to severe drought and an unstable exchange rate, the price of all essential products has been steadily escalating. So far, these increases have largely been absorbed by retailers, but consumers are advised to brace themselves for tough times at the tills. How will ordinary South Africans cope when a trip to the supermarket becomes unaffordable?
View the television programme broadcast by Carte Blance, an investigative journalism programme, at http://carteblanche.dstv.com/player/1029084/
South Africa’s extreme poverty and inequality is well-known and documented. A toxic mix of high unemployment and low wages for the majority of workers perpetuates this crisis. So it would seem that massive job creation and increased wage levels will go a long way to defeating poverty.
Listen to the radio panel discussion between Isobel Frey (SPII), Mervyn Abrahams (PACSA) and Bernd Mueller (ILO) on radio SAFM at https://soundcloud.com/wwmp/workers-on-wednesday-safm-11-may-2016
SA’S investment rating will be cut to junk status in 2016, says François Conradie, head of research at NKC African Economics. However, this won’t be the biggest danger to the economy this year. The crippling food prices, increased because of one of the worst droughts on record, should be greater cause for concern, he says. The drought has already caused large spikes in food prices. A food basket survey by the Markets & Economic Research Centre shows prices rose by 8.7% between December 2014 and December 2015, exceeding inflation. The same effects were seen in the baskets of low-income households in November 2015, with month-on-month increases averaging 4.47% through to February 2016, according to the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action, an NGO that closely tracks and publishes a monthly index of prices of a basic basket of goods.
Read the full article published in Financial Mail on 10 March 2016 at http://www.financialmail.co.za/fmfox/2016/03/10/food-prices-intensified-poverty