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Social grants in relation to food prices

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By Lee-Yandra Paulsen

“Social grants are essentially spent on food and if you look at our food basket which increased with 12%. This means even with the increase for social grant, people receiving these grants can buy less food this year compared to last year.”

This is according to the Programme Coordinator at the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group, Mervyn Abrahams who spoke to VOC Breakfast on Monday morning about the increase of social grants in relation to food prices.

“It seems as though government has cut back on social security responsibility and that is worrying for the poor and those beyond the breadline.”

Last week, during the budget speech the finance minister Enoch Godongwana, announced the increases in various social grants. According to Abrahams the budget was disappointing, and government cut major expenses such as the amount of people eligible for the Social Relief of Distress grant (SRD). He further says, the R90.00 increase in pensions is not enough to cover even the expenditure on food.

“Food is the biggest driver of inflation on Consumer Price Index (CPI) in South Africa,” said Abrahams.

Food prices are mainly increased by vegetable prices as it is seasonal and must be stored. Other factors such as loadshedding and fuel prices also affect the food prices. Therefore, Abrahams believes the food prices are not likely to decrease.

According to Abrahams, Retailers increase the price of food as a result of the factors mentioned above. He further states these retailers do not decrease the food prices, even when the factors change, which is concerning for the poor.

Photo: Pixabay

VOC News


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