South Africa: Consumers Pay High Food Prices Despite Lower Inflation, Commission Says - South African News Briefs - September 14, 2023

14 September 2023


South Africans Paying More for Food Despite Decreasing Inflation

The Competition Commission's latest report reveals that South Africans are paying excessively high prices for certain food items, despite a significant decrease in overall inflation, reports EWN. This situation, often referred to as the "rocket and feather" effect, means that food prices rise rapidly due to factors like volatility and inflation but decrease slowly when these pressures ease. The report emphasises that consumers are still grappling with high food prices while retailers continue to increase their profits. Food inflation remains nearly twice as high as the inflation rate for all goods and services. To address this issue, the commission plans to monitor essential food costs and prices throughout the entire value chain to ensure that consumers are not being unfairly affected by competition dynamics within the food industry.

Opposition Party Leader Malema Accuses Magistrate of Disrespecting Court

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has accused Magistrate Twanett Olivier of disrespecting the court by being late for proceedings at the East London Magistrate's Court, reports News24. Malema is facing charges related to firing a rifle in front of a crowd in 2018, with his bodyguard, Adriaan Snyman, accused of providing him with the firearm. Both have pleaded not guilty. Malema's outburst came after court proceedings were delayed due to load shedding. He claimed that Olivier has never been punctual to any court. Olivier, upon her arrival, denied the accusation, explaining that she had been waiting for defence attorneys and the prosecutor to join her in her chambers, a meeting she had initiated.

Postbank Board Resigns, Citing Ministerial Interference Amidst Grant Access Issues

The chairperson of Postbank, Thobile Wonci, along with two other board members, Advocate Leigh Hefer-Hendrikse and Martin Mahosi, have resigned from the state-owned bank, citing interference and undue pressure from Communications and Digital Technology Minister Mondli Gungubele, reports SABC News. In their resignation letter, they expressed concern about the Minister's treatment and hostility towards the board, which they believe undermines the credibility of Postbank. This development comes as Postbank grapples with a technical error that temporarily prevented thousands of pensioners using SASSA and Postbank cards from accessing their grants. Postbank says that the technical issue has been resolved, allowing SASSA customers to access their funds at ATMs and Post Office branches once again.

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