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Food Prices in South Africa are Down Print
Food prices in South Africa are coming down again, after climbing in excess of 8% during lockdown. However, costs are much higher than they were a year ago.

These are the findings from the latest Household Affordability Index, published by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD) for July 2020.

According to the group, prices for its tracked basket of food increased by 8.2% between March and June 2020, reflecting the price changes during lockdown. When comparing the price changes from June to July, however, the same basket is now 2.1% cheaper.

Compared to the same time in 2019, the basket is 11.6% more expensive.

The basket of food, which comprises the essential products and staples as identified by household shoppers in the Pietermaritzburg area, now costs R3,413.14, compared to R3,486.23 in June, and R3,221 in March.

Lockdown
The Competition Commission recently published findings on food price changes during South Africa’s lockdown.

Citing StatsSA data, the commission said that prices were initially high at the start of the country’s lockdown in early April but, subsequently receded.

SANHA Comments:

Earning a wholesome living for oneself and one’s dependants are meritorious deeds in Islam, especially if one’s trade facilitates essential services to the community. Islam teaches us business ethics and consideration. For example, Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be leased with him) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (Allah’s salutations and peace be upon him) said:

‏كَانَ تَاجِرٌ يُدَايِنُ النَّاسَ، فَإِذَا رَأَى مُعْسِرًا قَالَ لِفِتْيَانِهِ تَجَاوَزُوا عَنْهُ، لَعَلَّ اللَّهَ أَنْ يَتَجَاوَزَ عَنَّا، فَتَجَاوَزَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ ‏

There was a businessman who used to grant credit to the people. When he saw a poor person he would tell his slaves, “Overlook [his debt] from him, perhaps Allah will overlook [our sins] from us.” So Allah overlooked [his sins]. [al-Bukhari]
 
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