Distressing Surge in Food Prices Hits South African Households

Distressing Surge in Food Prices Hits South African Households

South African households are currently facing a concerning situation as food prices experience a distressing surge.

Among the rising costs, one particular item of concern is the price of onions.

Onions: A Luxury in the Making?

According to Mervyn Abrahams, the program co-ordinator for PMBEJD, a substantial increase has been observed in the prices of basic vegetables.

Of notable significance are potatoes and onions, both of which have experienced notable price hikes.

Abrahams reports a staggering 52% increase in the price of potatoes and an even more concerning 67% increase in onion prices year-on-year.

To put it into perspective, in March 2022, a 10kg pocket of potatoes would have cost you R63.70.

However, by March 2023, the same pocket was priced at R97.12.

Onions, too, saw a sharp increase, with a 10kg bag of onions priced at R77.29 in March 2022, surging to R125.74 in March 2023.

Additionally, the prices of carrots and tomatoes have also risen, highlighting the overall impact on various vegetables.

Unveiling the Staggering Statistics

Recent data from Stats SA reveals a staggering 14.0% year-on-year increase in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages.

This significant leap marks the most substantial surge since the 14.7% upswing recorded in March 2009.

The Link to Load Shedding

The Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD) has directed its attention toward the alarming escalation in onion prices, painting a worrisome picture for consumers.

Agri SA, a prominent player in the agricultural sector, has connected this unsettling trend to the repercussions of load shedding.

The inconsistent power supply has dealt a blow to various food production processes, contributing to the overall rise in food prices.

This situation recalls the previous occurrences where commodities like toilet paper and cooking oil saw their prices skyrocket.

The combination of these factors paints a concerning scenario for South African households as they grapple with the economic challenges posed by these surging food prices.