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End of 2023 offered consumers relief after a drop in the average cost of a food basket

| Economic factors

By: IOL

From November 2023 to December 2023, the average cost of a household food basket decreased by R76.43, according to the Household Affordability Index.

The household affordability index by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group (PMBEJD) tracks food price data from 47 supermarkets and 32 butcheries in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg, Mtubatuba, and Springbok in the Northern Cape.

The index shows that the average cost of a household food basket for December 2023 is R5,238.20. This was a drop in cost in comparison to the average cost of a household food basket for November 2023, which was R5,314.63.

Between December 2022 to December 2023, the average cost of a household food basket increased by R385.03 from R1,853.18 to R5,238.20.

Cost of foods for December

According to the household affordability index, there was a big drop in the cost of vegetables, including potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and butternut. The drop in the cost of potatoes and onions, which according to the index are core foods, continues from November 2023.

Here is a closer look at the drop in the cost of vegetables:

– Potatoes are down by R25.07 (19%), with a 10kg bag costing R104.95.

– Onions are down by R10.34 (10%), with a 10kg bag costing R96.19.

– Tomatoes are down by R16.47 (12%), with a 6kg box costing R121.91.

– Butternut is down by R24.93 (17%) with a 10kg bag costing R123.54.

While there has been a drop in the cost of vegetables, there were also foods that increased by 5%, 2%, or more.

For December 2023, foods that increased in cost by 5% include:

– soup (6%)

– carrots (6%)

– bananas (7%),

– apples (5%)

– oranges (23%)

For December 2023, foods that increased in cost by 2% or more include:

– salt (4%)

– frozen chicken portions (2%),

– tea (2%)

– beef (2%)

– fish (3%)

– spinach (2%)

– green pepper (4%)

– Cremora (2%)

– apricot jam (4%)

Inflation on food baskets per area

For December 2023, the average cost of household food baskets decreased month-on-month and increased year-on-year in all areas that were tracked.

The cost of a Johannesburg basket decreased by R62.40 month-on-month and increased by R471.08 year-on-year. The cost of a Johannesburg basket for December 2023 is R5,348.09.

The cost of a Durban basket decreased by R56.49 month-on-month and increased by R297.22 year-on-year. The cost of a Durban basket for December 2023 is R5,213.21.

The cost of a Cape Town basket decreased by R115.61 month-on-month and increased by R355.45. The cost of a Cape Town basket for November 2023 is R5,132.78.

The cost of a Springbok basket decreased by R153.81 month-on-month and increased by R464.87 year-on-year. The cost of a Springbok basket for December 2023 is R5,597.73.

The cost of a Pietermaritzburg basket decreased by R30.31 month-on-month and increased by R361.71 year-on-year. The cost of a Pietermaritzburg basket for December 2023 is R5,035.02.

In Mtubatuba, the average cost of a food basket decreased by R76.40 month-on-month and increased by R202.18 year-on-year. The cost of a Mtubatuba food basket is R5,276.13 for December 2023.

IOL Business


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