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2022-03-24

9 things that are now more expensive in South Africa – and how it will hit your grocery bill

Statistics South Africa has published its latest consumer price index, showing that annual headline inflation held steady at 5.7% in February 2022, unchanged from the same figure in January.


Staff Writer | Business Tech

However, rising food and transport prices continued to put upward pressure on the monthly rate, with the consumer price index (CPI) for these goods increasing by 0.6% between January and February, the statistics body said.

Some of the largest annual price increases (February 2021 vs February 2022) were recorded for the following goods and services:

  • Oils and fats: +22.7%
  • Electricity and other fuels: +14.1 %
  • Meat: +8.6%
  • Vegetables: +7.7%
  • Wine: +6.9%
  • Hotels: +6.3%
  • Restaurants: +6.1%
  • Fish: +5.3%
  • Alcoholic beverages: +5.2%

Petrol

Fuel prices increased by 2.9% in February after softening in January. The price of inland 95-octane petrol climbed by 53 cents from January to reach R20.14 per litre, shy of the record high of R20.29 reached in December.

Large monthly price increases were also recorded for public transport services, in particular airfares (up by 7.3%) and car rental (up by 15%).

Food

Maize meal, white bread and fish all registered large price increases.

Annual food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation continued to rise in February, with the rate increasing to 6.4% from 5.7% in January and 5.5% in December.

After decreasing steadily for eight months, annual bread and cereals inflation jumped to 3.7% in February from 1,5% in January. This category includes grain-based foods made from wheat, rice and maize. The monthly change was also significant: prices climbed by 2.4% between January and February, representing the biggest monthly increase for this category since the beginning of 2019.

A number of bread and cereal products registered large monthly price increases, most notably staples such as maize meal (up by 3.7%) and white bread (up by 3.2%). In rand terms, a loaf of white bread was on average 69 cents more expensive in February than in January, up to R16.16 from R15.47.

Other products with large price increases include ready-mix flour and cake flour (both up by 4.7%), pasta (up by 4.1%), and porridge and macaroni (both up by 2.9%). Brown bread prices climbed by 2.5%.

“With much focus on the war in Ukraine and the impact that this might have on grain supply, price movements in the bread and cereals category will be closely watched in the near future,” StatsSA said.

“Your fish and chips dish may have become more expensive too. The other food category that recorded a sharp rise was fish, increasing by 2.3% between January and February. Within this category, tinned fish (excluding tuna) and frozen fish fingers recorded the largest monthly increases.”


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