ANC Government unable to restrain the Cost of Living Crisis
South Africa's inflation crisis has been exacerbated by a staggering 14.3% hike in food prices

The inflation statistics revealed by StatsSA on Wednesday are not merely numbers – they are glaring symptoms of an unrelenting cost of living crisis gnawing at the core of South African households, according to the DA.

DA Shadow Minister of Finance Dr Dion George says the official inflation rate, which surpassed 6.8% on a year-to-year basis, breaching the stipulated target range of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) for the 12th consecutive month, reveals an economic landscape scarred by inflationary pressures.

He says a deep-seated analysis of these numbers has revealed a crisis in full swing. Transportation expenses have rocketed by 7.6% and escalating fuel prices by 5% leaving South Africans gasping for economic breath.

Food prices have seen a staggering 14.3% hike, with the cost of bread, a fundamental food item, surging by 20.8% within the year.

Dr George alleges that the inflation crisis has been exacerbated by the ANC government’s “disgraceful international political stance”, as seen in the disclosure about weapons being allegedly loaded onto the Russian ship, the ‘Lady R’ in Simonstown – a clear indication, he says, of the ANC’s support of Russia’s invasive actions in Ukraine. This non-neutral stance is “unconscionable in its disregard for the inevitable devaluation of our currency” and magnifies South Africa’s inflationary woes, he says.

In a press statement, Dr George says: “The ANC government and its cabinet Ministers, comfortably ensconced in a cocoon of luxury, remains grossly disconnected from the stark realities of widespread hunger and poverty. Amidst the grim plight of the citizens, Ministers continue to remain insulated from the crippling impact of inflation and escalating living costs. With millions in taxpayer rands frivolously spent on ostentatious Ministerial home renovations, the ANC government’s disregard for the suffering of its citizens is clearly on display.”

He suggests the government should alleviate the financial burden on its citizens by immediately slashing the fuel levy, amplifying solar tax rebates to liberate consumers from Eskom’s grip, and expanding the zero-VAT rated food basket to include essentials such as bone-in chicken, beef, tinned beans, wheat flour, margarine, peanut butter, baby food, tea, coffee, and soup powder. The VAT imposed on these items penalizes the most vulnerable South Africans.

The rampant cost of living crisis in South Africa warrants immediate, decisive government action, urges the DA.