In the wake of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget speech last week in which he introduced new tax measures that target the rich and prioritise social spending, consumers can expect some relief at the tills as the prices of basic household grocery items continue to show signs of decline.
January saw prices of items such as brown bread, potatoes, chicken and eggs increase sharply.
But as we get further into the year, the same items have decreased, with some dropping to last year’s prices.
Items which have seen a drop in price include:
lPotatoes, which now cost R1 less than last month, have gone from R14.50/kg to their new price of R13.50;
lButternut, which cost R14.99/kg last month, is now selling for R12.99, a decrease of R2;
lA dozen eggs went from R23.98 in February, dropping by R2 to R21.98;
lThe price of chicken, which has fluctuated month to month, will now cost consumers R43.80/kg, a slight decrease from last month’s R49.90 selling price; and
lCooking oil dropped from R17.99/l to R16.99.
The prices of brown bread and milk remained the same at R10.49 and R10.99 respectively.
Maize meal prices continue to be high despite the recent heavy rains which signalled an improvement in the drought situation that has affected large parts of the country. A kilogramme of maize cost R11.99 last month but this month is selling for R13.99.
In a story that appeared in the Saturday Dispatch in February, the National Agricultural Market Council’s Christo Joubert said maize meal prices soared in October last year, costing about 40% more than it did during the same period in 2015. Despite those huge increases, Joubert assured consumers that prices had since dropped, with a tonne of maize meal going from R5000 to R3000.
He had warned that it could take some time before consumers felt the difference in their pockets.
Since April last year, the Saturday Dispatch has charted the prices of eight household items, namely sunflower oil, chicken, bread, milk, eggs, maize meal, potatoes and butternut.
The findings are published on the first Saturday of every month and sourced from three different East London supermarkets. — firstname.lastname@example.org