Potatoes, eggs drive up price of food basket


Potatoes are becoming more expensive month by month and with eggs becoming increasingly scarce, especially in Gauteng, shopping in October was even more expensive than in previous months.

The latest Household Affordability Index report by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group (PMBEJD) shows that it cost an average of R141.81 more to shop in October than in September.

It is especially potatoes, eggs, rice and various types of vegetables and fruit that make the price of a basket of food soar.

In October, the price of potatoes rose by 40%, which means that a 10 kg bag now costs you close to R145. This is R40 more than last month.

The price of eggs also rose by 19%, leading to consumers paying up to R160 for 60 eggs. The ongoing shortage of eggs is due to the bird flu outbreak which is forcing farmers to cull laying hens in large numbers.

In October, the price of rice rose by 5%, while white sugar and beef are 2% more expensive.

The prices of various types of vegetables and fruits have also risen considerably. Oranges are 13% more expensive, tomatoes cost 11% more and apples and butternut squash cost 6% more in October.

It now costs an average of R5 297.58 to buy a food basket with just the basic items. It is R140 more expensive than in September when it cost R5 155.77.

Inflation on food basket prices by area

In October, the price of a basket of food rose in most densely populated areas.

In Johannesburg, it was R258.20 (4.9%) more expensive to buy a basket of food than last month. Shopping in Durban was R170.46 (3.4%) more expensive compared to the previous month. Those in Cape Town also had to pay R90,25 (1,7%) more for their shopping.

Over the same period last year (October), the price of a food basket in all these areas also rose.

Household and personal hygiene products

The index for household and personal hygiene products only increased in October and brings the average cost of these items to R999,05; this is R2.21 (0.2%) more compared to the previous month.

These are all products that are necessary for basic hygiene, but these products also compete with essential food items.