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'Cost of basic foods up nearly 13%, children in poor families wasting away'

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| Bruce Whitfield talks to Andy Du Plessis, MD of FoodForward SA, about the vicious cycle of food inflation and poverty in SA.

Food price inflation in South Africa is out of control, warns FoodForward SA MD Andy Du Plessis.

Basic foods cost almost 13% more than they did last year says the food redistribution organisation.

FoodForward SA was established in 2009 to address widespread hunger in the country.

RELATED: ‘What it costs to fill up my tank is what pensioner gets as social grant’

Bruce Whitfield interviews Du Plessis on The Money Show.

On an annual basis we take a look at very specific products, mainly basic products, and we track their prices at two different retailers.

Andy Du Plessis, MD – FoodForward SA

Between last year and this year we’ve seen a 12.9% increase over a range of products… most notably cereals, fruit, vegetables, grains and spreads.

Andy Du Plessis, MD – FoodForward SA

RELATED: Inflation jumps to 5-year high, breaks through Reserve Bank target range

So although CPI is sitting at 6.5% we are finding that with food inflation, when it’s specifically isolated, the price difference is just exorbitant between last year and this year… and those figures don’t even take into account the kind of issues we’re having because of the Russia-Ukraine crisis…

Andy Du Plessis, MD – FoodForward SA

These prices are not sustainable Du Plessis warns.

He says they’re finding more and more that poor people have to continue to buy cheaper and cheaper foods.

While poor people have to buy cheaper foods they are growing more unhealthy, which is an added burden on the health sector… and unhealthy people don’t have the strength to go and look for work…

Andy Du Plessis, MD – FoodForward SA

It’s just a vicious cycle this poverty and inequality… and it’s just worsening across South Africa.

Andy Du Plessis, MD – FoodForward SA

He says the organisation has seen a 122% increase year on year in its application numbers, with at least 80% not meeting the strict criteria to qualify for food assistance.

FoodForward SA is running a food drive in partnership with Pick n Pay for Mandela Day – see how you can help below:

Listen to the sobering conversation on The Money Show:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : ‘Cost of basic foods up nearly 13%, children in poor families wasting away’

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