Inflation Much Higher for Poor South Africans

Mmusi Maimane

DA National Spokesperson

Statistics South Africa today released the latest Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) statistics, indicating that inflation has increased slightly to 6.1% in the last month.

But beneath the headline statistics, troubling facts about inflation for poor South Africans can be found. Poor South Africans experience much higher inflation than the reported CPI rate. Those South Africans who spend less than R14 564 per year, for example, face inflation at 7.7%, whilst the richest South Africans only experience inflation of 5.6%.

Here is the full breakdown:

Inflation Rate by Annual Expenditure:

Below R14 564: 7.7%

R14 565 – R23 278: 7.5%

R23 279 – R36 755 : 7.3%

R36 756 – R79 152: 6.9%

R79 153 and more: 5.6%

These statistics clearly show that the poorer you are the higher inflation is on the goods and services you generally purchase.

This only exacerbates inequality and entrenches poverty.

These are the results of significant increases in the price of goods and services that the poor are especially dependent on. Items like bread and cereals (10.6% more expensive than last year) and electricity and other fuels (17.1% more expensive than last year), which make up a significant portion of the poor’s monthly expenditure, have increased at much higher rates than other goods and services.

This underscores why more must be done to limit the increases in the cost of living for the poorest South Africans.

Those “administered prices” where government has direct control over the price of goods must be reviewed to find savings for poor South Africans. Other efforts, like increasing competition in important industries and improving the efficiency of government entities like Metrorail can also help to alleviate the pressure on poor families.

I will continue to take this message to government and ordinary South Africans as part of the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) cost of living campaign. We must do everything we can to defend the living standards of our people.

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