Rising food prices blamed for deepening poverty in S. Africa

Source: Xinhua| 2021-06-03 00:01:47|Editor: huaxia

JOHANNESBURG, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Rising food prices were deepening poverty and financial crisis in South Africa, according to the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group.

Mervyn Abrahams, program coordinator at the group, said the escalating food prices were forcing low-income families to cut back on nutritional foods.

"Households don't have enough money to buy essential food and COVID-19 has worsened the crisis," Abrahams told Xinhua on Wednesday.

The Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group tracks 44 foods that low-income families purchase and consume on a monthly basis.

"Families are forced to rely mainly on starch items such as rice and maize meal because you remain full for longer after eating them," he said, adding that these food are less nutritious.

Abrahams said over 25 percent of young boys in South Africa were stunting. Cutting back on nutritional foods was contributing to the issue.

Statistics SA said annual consumer price inflation rate for April 2021 has increased to 4.4 percent compared to 3.3 percent reported in March, mainly due to higher food prices and transport costs. Food and non-alcoholic beverages saw a monthly increase of 0.9 percent and an annual rise of 6.3 percent, which was the highest it has been since 6.8 percent in July 2017.

Abrahams said all these rising prices were putting more pressure on low income households which were already financially struggling. Enditem