Asanda Matlhare
Intern Journalist
1 minute read
22 Jul 2021
4:37 am

Outrage over dramatic increase in food prices

Asanda Matlhare

Merchandise executive at Spar Mike Prentice cleared up confusion after a tweet went viral about Albany bread costing R19.99.

South African consumers were alarmed in recent weeks when they noticed there had been a dramatic increase in food prices. Picture: iStock

South African consumers were alarmed in recent weeks when they noticed there had been a dramatic increase in food prices, and many took to social media to express their anger.

Food and nonalcoholic beverages have increased in price by 6.7% yearly, housing utilities have increased by 2.6%, transport services by 12.3% and miscellaneous goods by 4.1%.

Regarding sunflower oil, South Africa was a net importer of sunflower oil and imported on average 197,342 tons per annum in the past five years.

Additionally, South Africa imports, on average, 477,185 tons of palm oil a year.

The annual consumer price inflation was 4.9% in June, down from 5.2% in May. Merchandise executive at Spar Mike Prentice cleared up confusion after a tweet went viral about Albany bread costing R19.99.

“That is not accurate. Brown and white bread should be selling at between R13 and R14 and then the Albany speciality
breads, which include wholewheat and gluten-free, should sell for between R18 and R19,” said Prentice.

National Consumer Commission (NCC) communications officer Phetho Ntaba said the commission did not receive any
complaints about the price of bread.

“The NCC did not receive complaints [completed forms from consumers] about the price of bread in general and Albany bread in particular. We are, however, proactively following up on allegations of price hikes posted on different
social media platforms by many consumers,” she said.

Ntaba added that a supplier could not increase a price of essential goods and services solely because of riots.

“While the NCC does not regulate prices, regulation 350 prohibits an inflation of prices where a supplier’s price increase of the price of the goods does not correspond to the costs of procuring those goods,” she said.

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