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South Africa: Food prices to rise

14 February 2007

SOUTH AFRICA - Meat is meat but people won’t eat as their pockets begin to shrink.

Rocketing food prices are forcing the big-spending middle class to cut back on clothing and luxury items to feed their meat- eating habits.

Lower-income earners, however, are substituting meat - which includes mutton, beef, chicken and pork - for less expensive items such as vegetables and eggs.

These trends have been observed by economist Lullu Krugel, who has done extensive research on food inflation relative to a worker’s salary.

Her study is substantiated by Statistics South Africa research which looks at what the different income groups spend on food. It shows:

  • The higher-income expenditure group spends R82,000 a year and more on food, with 17% of their total salary going towards food.

  • The majority of organised labour falls within the middle- income expenditure group. They spend between R18,000 and R36,500 a year on food, or 25% of their total income.

  • The lower-income expenditure group spends below R12,000 a year or 52% of their total earnings on food.

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Source: Sunday Times



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