As petrol prices go up at midnight tonight, we can almost be assured that the cost of food will surely follow suit. South Africans are having to count their cents with the overall price hikes in general necessities and living standards.

The increase in VAT has already raised the cost of living substantially – as reported in The Pietermaritzberg Agency For Community on Social Action (Pacsa) food barometer in April 2018. It can be seen, based on the standard nutritional shopping basket at outlined by Pacsa that there is an overall 6,5% increase on the total value of goods levied. This basket was constructed by Pacsa as a stanardardised number of goods that provide nutritional value for a family of seven.

The food barometer clearly outlines that it will become increasingly difficult for low income families to afford a nutritional diet, costing R3144,02 for the Pacsa nutritional basket. In 2017, the Pacsa family basket was estimated to cost R2,886 and indicates a stark increase in the general cost.

As mentioned in EWN and economists, the hike in food prices, transport and utilities are rising at a rate that is faster than salary increases. The rapid increase in our expenses are not on par with salary increases and locals are urged to be cautious of their spending.

The petrol price is increasing by 26 cents per litre along with diesel at 24 cents per litre and illuminating paraffin by 20 cents. Researcher and food price analyst for Pacsa, Julie Smith told EWN that the price of foods will inflate.

“Between September and June, the food basket for low-income households has increased by 7%. So, we could be looking at an extra 5%.”

Although some wholesale stores are attempting to tackle the price increase by having specials and discounts, this may not curb the overall issue. In order to manage the gapping and growing hole in our pockets – the public is being advised to cut back on luxury items and stick to the essentials.

Check out the list of cost increases that are emptying out our wallets 

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