August 11, 2022

Food, Fuel, and The Cost of Living

Food and fuel prices continue to rise, increasing the cost of living in South Africa.

Food is everything. It controls our lives, whether we have too much, or too little of it, it controls us more than we control it. You would think that food would be one of the most widely available and cheapest resources in the world, made readily available to everyone, given that we need to stay alive. However, this is not the case, and for many South Africans, the cost of food has greatly impacted their cost of living. 

In recent years there has been a considerable rise in the prices of food, making the cost of living almost unattainable for many South Africans. In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, fuel prices did go up considerably, affecting the price of food and fuel all across the globe, especially wheat and maize prices, which are staple foods in South Africa,  in the months following the invasion. 

This is an issue that affects all of us, as we all need food to survive, we cannot simply stop buying food. The only option we have would be to simply swap out certain food for more affordable ones. None are more so affected by this that the poor, who already struggle to put anything on the table. 

According to the Household Affordability Index by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity group (PMBEJD), the average household food basket in Cape Town increased to R4648,26 in July 2022, from R4490,84 in June 2022. This is a 3.5% increase of R157,41 from month to month. Increases were also recorded in Johannesburg and Durban’s food baskets. 

Despite all of the doom and gloom surrounding the South African economy, there is some hope to be expected in the coming months according to the Bureau for Economic Research (BER), which expects food and fuel prices to slightly decrease in the coming months due to a downward trend in global oil prices. This, if it persists, will have a positive effect on the price of food and fuel, globally.