Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

In a damning report following recent discussions on supermarket prices, the Competition Commission has highlighted that South African food prices continue to be exorbitant, even as retailers enjoy surging profits. Despite a drop in inflation and producer costs, consumers are not seeing a corresponding decrease in food prices at the checkout.

The report identifies a concerning ‘rocket and feather’ effect in South African food pricing, where prices spike rapidly but take much longer to decrease if they do so at all. Essential items like maize meal, cooking oil, and bread have been particularly impacted by this phenomenon.

According to the Competition Commission’s Essential Food Pricing Monitoring (EFPM) Report, food inflation remains twice as high as that of goods and services, signaling the persistent issue of high food prices in the country.

Load-shedding, a regular occurrence in South Africa, is suggested as one possible reason for the enduring high prices. Retailers have had to invest significant sums to mitigate the effects of load-shedding on their supply chains and store operations.

The report also reveals that revenue in South Africa’s grocery sector has surged by 38% since 2019. Major supermarket chains in the country collectively recorded a 26% increase in profits, totaling R16.6 billion in 2023.

The hope remains that South African food prices may eventually align with reduced inflation rates from three months ago, but the report underscores the pressing issue of high food costs.

Do you believe South African food prices are too high? Share your cost-saving shopping techniques in the comments section, or send your thoughts to info@thesouthafrican.com and connect with us on Twitter (@TheSAnews) and Facebook (The South African) for the latest updates.

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