Food inflation continues to rise sharply in South Africa, with consumers having to fork out much more for vegetables compared to last year. According to Stats SA, inflation for food and non-alcoholic beverages continued to accelerate, with prices increasing by 14.0% in the 12 months to last month. It said this represented the largest annual increase since the 14.7% rise in March 2009.
Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD) said that there had been major year-on-year increases in the price of potatoes, onions, carrots, and tomatoes. Agri SA attributed the higher prices to the impact of load shedding on food production.
Mervyn Abrahams, the program coordinator for PMBEJD, said there had been a massive spike in the price of basic vegetables: “Two of the most bought vegetables that we have seen increases in are potatoes and onions. We have seen a 52% increase in the price of potatoes and a 67% increase in the price of onions year on year. In March 2022, you would have been paying R63.70 for a 10kg pocket of potatoes, but in March 2023, you were paying R97.12 for the same pocket.”