Drought is a main driver in food price increases

The Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action says South Africans are being forced to eat cheaper, less healthy food, and get into debt to buy groceries.

PACSA, which has been monitoring food prices since 2006, found that a food basket comprising starchy foods; sugar, beans, oil, milk, meat, fish and vegetables costed R1797 in January. But in March, the same basket cost R1869.

Other foods tracked by PACSA between November and March also demonstrated a sharp increase. For example a 10kg pocket of potatoes rose from R35 to R60.32, and four liters of cooking oil rose from R70.66 to R89.98.

Speaking on the Afternoon Drive show, Ronald Rambulana, CEO of National Agricultural Marketing Council says his organisation is working together with government to make sure that these increases don't affect people in lower income groups.

Rambulana says government will increase grants, and work together with supermarkets to not increase basic food products, such as bread and maize meal.

Listen to the interview below...

It's correct that due to this drought we have seen almost double digits increases of food prices, and when you look at people in the lower LSMs, who spend most of their income on food, they can't buy some of the basic food items they used to afford.

Ronald Rambulana, CEO of National Agricultural Marketing Council of South Africa

Drought is one of the issues, and obviously some of the administered prices. But drought is the big driver.

Ronald Rambulana, CEO of National Agricultural Marketing Council of South Africa

There are a lot of people in South Africa who have seen a drought like this. So, it's not unusual (that we have high food increase) because we have not see something like this in hundred years.

Ronald Rambulana, CEO of National Agricultural Marketing Council of South Africa

So people in lower LSMs tend to buy in small corner shops, as compared in higher LSMs who buy in super markets. So food prices when they increase, you will find that increases are much higher in smaller corner shops compared to super markets.

Ronald Rambulana, CEO of National Agricultural Marketing Council of South Africa
Read More
No medical aid, no charge at Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital

No medical aid, no charge at Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital

NMCH interim CEO Joe Seoloane says they'll provide services to all children with special conditions regardless of affordability.

Mashaba speaks about 100 days in office and lawlessness hijacking Joburg CBD

Mashaba speaks about 100 days in office and lawlessness hijacking Joburg CBD

Mayor Herman Mashaba says illegal immigrants in the city centre make it difficult for law enforcement agencies to do their work.

 HIV home-testing not final diagnosis - SA AIDS Council

HIV home-testing not final diagnosis - SA AIDS Council

Sanac CEO Dr Fareed Abdullah says that while the test is useful, it is not a confirmatory test, but rather a screening test.

Budding sports announcer Boitumelo Potsane headhunted after impressing on-air

Budding sports announcer Boitumelo Potsane headhunted after impressing on-air

Xolani Gwala finds out how Boitumelo Potsane's life changed since he called in to 702 with his promising sports commentary skills.

Hawks investigating 4 cases related to irregular Prasa expenditure - Themba Godi

Hawks investigating 4 cases related to irregular Prasa expenditure - Themba Godi

Prasa has referred more than 60 inquiries to police related to R13.9 billion irregular expenditure highlighted by the AG's report.

Hard to keep the peace in countries with filthy public toilets  - UL lecturer

Hard to keep the peace in countries with filthy public toilets - UL lecturer

University of Limpopo water and sanitation lecturer, Trevor Mulaudzi, is promoting public toilet hygiene around the world.