The Household Affordability Index shows that South Africans, especially general workers, are likely to cut their food expenditure by almost half.

This is due to the high cost of living, which forces consumers to undervalue certain goods in order to increase their disposable income to get them through the month.

The Household Affordability Index tracks food prices in South Africa’s 44 supermarkets and 30 butchers, targeting the low-income market.

According to the study, the increase in the cost of living is forcing consumers to give up some basic goods because they have less money in their pockets.

Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD) Program Coordinator Mervyn Abrahams says, “Low-income families can no longer afford to buy adequate and nutritious food because food has become too expensive. The increase in taxi fares, as well as the cost of electricity [are also putting pressure on the consumers].”

“Now we can see that just for these two costs, electricity and transport alone will take about 58% of the national minimum wage, which is about 4,000 rand. And this would result in a family earning at the national minimum wage receiving 1,709 rand to cover all other costs. In fact, there is no food insecurity at the national level, but there is enormous food insecurity at the household level,” says Abrahams.

The video below discusses SA’s economic forecast with Saul Levine:

SA consumers are feeling the pressure

In June, consumers said they were feeling pressured by rising food and fuel prices that pushed inflation to the highest level in five years.

Their comments came as data from Statistics South Africa showed consumer price inflation (CPI) rose to 6.5% last month from 5.9% in April.

The main drivers of inflation in South Africa are food and fuel.

However, inflation is rising all over the world, especially after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Central banks around the world are trying to curb inflation by raising interest rates.

Rising inflation and cost of living in SA: Handani Msibi:

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