Inflation is a non-issue for ANC cabinet

Issued by Dr Dion George MP – DA Shadow Minister of Finance
21 Jun 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Dr Dion George MP

South Africa is grappling with a relentless cost of living crisis, without government lifting a finger to ease it. Numbers revealed by StatsSA are not just abstract figures; they are the pulsating lifeblood of a crisis that has been overlooked for far too long.

The official inflation rate, breaching the 6.3% mark year-on-year, has transgressed the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) target range for an unbroken 13-month streak. This fact alone outlines an economic terrain ravaged by inflationary pressures.

The inflation crisis is further intensified by the ANC government’s garbled international stance, particularly its support of Russia’s war in Ukraine. This partisan position, callously indifferent to the inevitable devaluation of our currency, further compounds our inflationary predicament. Yet, the ANC government continues to prioritize political posturing over the welfare of its citizens.

A deep-seated analysis of today’s numbers paints an even grimmer picture. With transportation costs rising at 7.6% rise and fuel prices driven higher by the fuel levy, everyday South African citizens find themselves gasping for economic breath.

Even more alarming is the 12% surge in food prices, with the cost of bread – an essential staple – escalating by a devastating 17.8% within a year.

It is the most economically vulnerable groups that are bearing the brunt of this crisis. Today’s numbers highlight this disturbing truth – the poorest households experienced a staggering 9.9% rise in their cost of living over the past 12 months. To make matters worse, data released earlier this month reveal that this poorest 10% of South Africans now spend half of their annual budget on food, making them particularly susceptible to food price hikes.

In sharp contrast, the inflation rate for the wealthiest households – which, incidentally, include ANC government cabinet ministers and officials – was a mere 5.9%. Nestled comfortably in their luxury cocoons, these ministers remain painfully detached from the harsh realities of widespread hunger and poverty.

A caring and compassionate DA government would immediately alleviate this financial burden by cutting the fuel levy, increasing solar tax rebates to free consumers from Eskom’s stranglehold, and broadening the zero-VAT rated food basket to encompass essentials such as bone-in chicken, beef, tinned beans, wheat flour, margarine, peanut butter, baby food, tea, coffee, and soup powder.

The escalating cost of living crisis in South Africa demands immediate, decisive government action. The citizens of South Africa are crying out for tangible change, and the DA stands firm in its resolve to see our recommendations implemented to alleviate their hardship. In the face of this crisis, silence is not an option.

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