South Africans, with the exception of the high income group, are experiencing very high inflation.
Workers and pensioners spending less than R79 152 per year on consumer goods and services should have received an increase in income of between 7.3% and 8.3% just to maintain their purchasing power. Those who received less were worse off in December 2011 compared to 2010.
South Africa's average Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is used by the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) for its inflation target, increased at a rate of 6.1% in December 2011 compared to December 2010.
Spending items which pressurized consumers during 2011 include various food items, the cost of housing and of petrol. These items all increased more than the inflation target ceiling of 6%.
Examples are the price of:
- Bread and cereals which on average increased by 9.3% in 2011,
- Meat by 10.9%
- Oils and fats by 20.9%
- Housing and utilities on average increased 6.6% in 2011
- Petrol 21%.
Some good news is that the price of telecommunications equipment on average decreased by 27% in 2011 compared to 2010.