Cooking oil and fat prices increased by 5.9 percent between March and April, said Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Wednesday, prompting the Competition Commission to state that it is watching excessive food prices increase.
“We are monitoring food prices, we have encouraged retailers to be cautious in terms of excessive price increases, there’s been an outcry and great concerns over food and oil price increases,” Competition Commission spokesperson Siyabulela Makunga told Xinhua.
He said price increases of between 25 and 30 percent were excessive and encouraged consumers to lodge complaints with the body.
The annual inflation rate for consumer prices in April was also 5.9 percent, unchanged from March.
This is the third time in five months that the annual rate has reached 5.9 percent, testing the 6 percent upper limit of the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy target range.
However, the increase in fuel prices between March and April exacerbated the inflation problem for consumers in South Africa.
Compared with this time last year, fuel was 29.2 percent more expensive. In June, consumers should expect higher petrol prices, according to economists. Enditem