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'There's an increase in cost of basic foods, social relief grant must remain'

13 October 2020 11:17 AM
Tags:
Household food basket
Household Affordability Index
Mervyn Abrahams

Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity's Mervyn Abrahams says people paid more for food money during lockdown.

The Household Food Basket in the Household Affordability Index is a new basket and has been designed together with women living on low incomes in Johannesburg (Soweto, Alexandra, Tembisa and Hillbrow), Cape Town (Gugulethu, Philippi, Khayelitsha, Delft, Dunoon), Durban (KwaMashu, Umlazi, Isipingo, Durban CBD and Mtubatuba), and Springbok (in the Northern Cape), and Pietermaritzburg. It includes the foods and the volumes of these foods which women living in a family of seven members (an average low-income household size) tell us they typically try and secure each month.

The basket was designed through a pilot project which ran from April 2020 to August 2020. It cannot however be considered the basket for every family living on a low income in each area and for all areas covered. It is however considered a reasonable proxy for a food basket that women identified as including the most important typical foods which most households try and buy each month, given affordability constraints.

Since June 2018 we have been meeting in low-income households to ask them what food they would purchase should they afford.

Mervyn Abrahams, Programme coordinator - Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity

What we are seeing is an increase in the cost of basic foods in the country. The kind of stuff that any household will buy at the end of the month.

Mervyn Abrahams, Programme coordinator - Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity

People had to fork out more money during lockdown as retailers charged more than the informal businesses.

Mervyn Abrahams, Programme coordinator - Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity

In South Africa, all our staple foods need to be cooked. When the price of electricity increases it affects the amount of money available for food.

Mervyn Abrahams, Programme coordinator - Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity

The social grant should be left intact.

Mervyn Abrahams, Programme coordinator - Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity

Listen below for the full interview...




13 October 2020 11:17 AM
Tags:
Household food basket
Household Affordability Index
Mervyn Abrahams

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