By Daniel Itai, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Marvin Abrahams, Coordinator of the Economic Justice and Dignity Organization has raised serious concerns over the pricing of basic food items.
The organization has since concluded a survey on the current food price of a family of seven vis-à-vis prior to the country’s COVID-19 lockdown which was initiated on the 27th of March this year.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the price of basic food items. Households are now buying what they need to buy but it’s not really nutritious because a basket of a family of seven is around R2 800 but if we are talking about a nutritious basket it has to be around R3 800 yet the minimum wage is around R3 400,” said Abrahams.
However, Abrahams further highlighted on specific pointers which the government and the corporal sector have to look into so as to avoid a food crisis.
“The COVID-19 relief grant should be made permanent. Moreso, we have to look at our food system on how we can get food to the plates of South Africans and we need to decentralize how we grow and distribute our food so as to curb the increase of food prices.
Moreover, we need to break down the chain of focusing on big commercial farming and start including small commercial farming, thereby creating urban farming and having more people involved,” said Abrahams.