Food prices in South Africa in 2021: Joburg vs Cape Town vs Durban

The Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity research group (PMBEJD) has published its latest Household Affordability Index, detailing price changes for basic and essential food items across South Africa. The January 2021 index shows that a food basket consisting of 44 prioritised food items has increased marginally by 1.2% – or R49 – since December 2020. However, price increases have been sharper – around 5.1% or almost R200 more in the basket – since the index was restructured in September 2020. According to the PMBEJD, the average household food basket it…

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Restrictions in trade to contain COVID-19 have been devastating for Africa’s urban poor

Trade routes have been significantly disrupted this year in efforts to contain COVID-19. The effects of this are already showing: global growth is set to contract by 4.9% and growth in sub-Saharan Africa will contract by 3.2%. This will get worse if continued restrictions further impede trade. The World Trade Organisation has warned that at worst, global trade could collapse by a third this year, and at best, it will contract by 13%, similar to the recorded drop after the 2009 financial crisis. This has fundamental consequences – both direct and indirect –…

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