Food and petrol prices irk consumers

Food staple prices have started to edge upwards, with half the contents of the regular Daily Dispatch food basket having risen since last month.

Chicken pieces, butternut, potatoes and mielie meal are all more expensive, an extra burden for the cash-strapped, who are already buckling under the steep fuel increases over the last two months.

This week’s 95-octane petrol hike of 23 cents pushes it to R15.43, the highest South Africans have paid for decades, thanks to the weakening rand and a rise in global fuel prices. In January, motorists were paying R13.93 per litre, so it’s a rise of R1.50 from the start of the year.

Motorists have taken a hit, but commuters are feeling the pinch most of all as taxi fares go up to cover the increased cost. Now consumers also have to also face the reality of inflating food prices. Only the egg price has decreased, while the prices of sunflower oil, milk and brown bread have remained constant.

Before the lamentations begin, however, when comparing this month’s food basket prices to those of a year ago, every price is now cheaper, with the exception of potatoes, which are priced the same as July 2017.

A year ago, for example, mielie meal cost R9.90 per kg. It now costs R5.99. Cooking oil was R3 dearer last year and brown bread cost R2.80 a loaf more.

Herewith the prices of a few staples:

  •  The price of 750ml of sunflower oil stayed the same at R15.99;
  •  A 1kg tray of chicken pieces increased by a significant R7.99 to R45;
  • At R7.49, the price of a loaf of brown bread remained the same;
  • Mielie meal, which costs R5.99, rose by R1.20 per kg from R4.79;
  • Milk remains steady at R9.99 per litre;l At R10.99, the price of 1kg of potatoes is R2 more this month;
  • The price of eggs went down by R2 and now costs R23.98 for a dozen; and
  • Butternut costs R8.99 per kg and is R1 more expensive than it was in June.

In keeping with the fresh new look of the revamped Daily Dispatch weekend edition, the food basket graph has also had a facelift, making it even easier to read at a glance.