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Here’s how food prices changed since 2017: mielie meal is cheaper, but meat is much pricier

| Economic factors

Statistics SA has released a list of prices of 191 popular retail items with data going back to 2017.

It shows that the mielie meal price has fallen by 12% - from R12.87 per 1kg in January 2017 to R11.32 in January this year. Sunflower oil (750ml) also got cheaper - from R22.48 to R21.95, while the bread flour price fell by 9% and the price of bread remains largely unchanged.

But the price of rusks jump by 15% to R38.41 for 500g.

Other price have also increased substantially – particularly rump steak, which is now 15% more expensive than it was in January 2017. Steak prices rose by R117.18 to R134.76 a kilogram. Biltong prices rose 13% from R249.08/kg to R281.57. Fresh chicken portions per kilogram rose by 15% to R65.25.


But pork chops and pork ribs were largely unchanged, at around R80 per kilogram.  

In the wake of the listeriosis scandal, the price of polony fell from R36.37 to R34.66.

Fish fingers (400g) increased from R37.44 to R46.38.

Avocado prices have rocketed by 38% from R18.04 each to R13.08. South Africa is currently experiencing a seasonal shortage of avocados. In winter, which is peak harvesting time, avocado prices can fall to below R7 each.

Cabbage prices rose by 25% over the past three years, while cauliflower increased by 43%.

Red wine (750ml) jumped from R50.94 to R66.66, while white wine is now R10 more expensive at R57.87.

Here are visual representations of how average national prices have fluctuated over the past three years:


Source: Statistics SA
Source: Statistics SA
Source: Statistics SA
Source: Statistics SA
Source: Statistics SA
Source: Statistics SA
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