Increase in grocery prices during South Africa’s lockdown – this is what you are paying more for

Stats SA has published new data highlighting the price changes for essential goods during South Africa’s coronavirus lockdown.

The statistics body is actively tracking prices during South Africa’s lockdown, with prices increasing by 0.2% since weekly data was first collected at the beginning of the lockdown in the week ending 2 April.

Food and non-alcoholic beverage (NAB) prices decreased by 0.2% in each of the last two weeks, but a cumulative increase of 0.2% was observed over the entire period.

The largest cumulative price increases were recorded in milk eggs and cheese (2.6%) as well as oils and fats (2.4%).

By comparison vegetable, fruit, and fish products decreased by 4.6%, 3.7% and 1.7% respectively.

The below graphic shows the latest weekly price increases as well as the price increases since the lockdown began.


Stats SA said that five of the nine food categories decreased in the most recent week, including bread and cereals (-0.2%), meat (-0.5%) and vegetables (-1.8%).

Other notable increase and decreases include:

  • Fruit and other foods increased by 6.5% and 1.7% respectively;
  • Bread and cereal products decreased by 0.2% in the week ending 23 April;
  • Rice prices dropped by 2.8%, sweet biscuits by 2.6% and frozen pastry products by 11.4%;
  • An 8.2% decrease in prices for cheddar cheese contributed to a weekly decrease in the milk, eggs and cheese index;
  • Margarine spread prices dropped by 5.6% and peanut butter dropped by 3.8%, whereas cooking oil increased by 3.5%, which together resulted in a 0.1% weekly increase in oils and fats;
  • Hot and cold beverage prices fell in the week ending 23 April. Hot beverage prices decreased by 1.1%, led by changes of -4% for instant coffee and -3.8% for drinking chocolate;
  • Cold beverage prices dropped by 0.7%, mainly a result of a decrease of 2.7% in canned fizzy drinks.

Miscellaneous items

The index for household maintenance and supplies saw a weekly increase of 0,8%.

  • Dishwashing liquid (2.5%) and toilet cleaners (2.2%) were the main contributors;
  • The health index increased by 1.3% and the recreation index by 1.6% in the latest week;
  • Large price decreases were observed in the prices of toothpaste (-6.4%) and hair conditioner (-4.5%) to bring the weekly change in the miscellaneous products index to ‑1.4%.

Read: How South Africans are surviving financially through lockdown

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Increase in grocery prices during South Africa’s lockdown – this is what you are paying more for