price hike food

Potatoes. Image by Pexels/Pixabay

Price hike: These nine food items’ prices soar

The price of potatoes nearly doubled in the past year with a price hike of 92%.

price hike food

Potatoes. Image by Pexels/Pixabay

The latest data from the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity group (PMBEJD) shows that 40 out of 44 commonly-purchased food items increased in price. 


The most significant price hikes were seen in potatoes and eggs. According to the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), South Africa has experienced a 24% reduction in potato volumes, reported Business Tech. The reason for this is loadshedding’s impact on irrigation. Without electricity, farmers cannot irrigate. Therefore, prices have shot up.

Egg prices have shown a large increase due to the Avian Influenza outbreak and price increases are not in line with the prices of chicken meat. This is because egg imports are more complicated than chicken imports.

The 9 food items that ranked the highest in terms of year-on-year price increase, are: 

  • Potatoes – increased by 92%
  • Eggs – increased by 68%
  • Butternut – increased by 45%
  • Oranges – increased by 36%
  • Apples – increased by 28%
  • Tomatoes – increased by 27%
  • Rice – increased by 23%
  • Chicken livers – increased by 23%
  • Bananas – increased by 20%

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There is some good news, though, as prices of some commonly purchased food items have decreased slightly or haven’t increased over the past year. The price of cooking oil decreased by 14% and onions will cost you 15% less than a year ago. Beef has shown no increase in price and tripe showed a decrease of 3%.


The November 2023 Household Affordability Index shows that the average cost of foods prioritised and bought first in the average household increased by 7% in the last year. These are food items that households buy first to ensure that families do not go hungry. Higher prices of core foods mean less money is available to buy other important, mostly nutritionally rich, foods. This results in a negative impact on overall household health and child development.

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