Poverty datum line more than doubles
DEPUTY CHIEF WRITER
THE poverty datum line has jumped by more than 100 percent from $3 398 in May to $8 484 in June, the country’s statistical agency — the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) — revealed yesterday.
This comes at a time prices of commodities in supermarkets have also significantly increased.
This also comes after the government announced a 150 percent fuel price increase this week. The Zimbabwe Regulatory Authority, announced a shocking fuel price increase on Tuesday night, which saw a litre of petrol going for $71,62 (US$1,28), up from $28,96, while diesel went up from $24,93 to $62,77 (US$1,09).
“The Food Poverty Line #FPL for one person in May 2020 was $680, while that for an average household of five persons was $3 398. The Total Consumption Poverty Line #TCPL for one person during the same period (May 2020) stood at $1 697 while that for an average of five persons per household was $8 484,” ZimStat said.
The ZimStat analysis uses the per capita consumption expenditure, and an average of five persons is used based on the average size of households as established by the 2012 Population Census.
A survey by the Daily News yesterday showed that a number of supermarkets had already adjusted their prices upwards, following the fuel price increases.
Bread price has gone up from between $61 and $65 to between $76,40 and $86,99, while a crate of eggs, which was going for $309, has gone up to $370, a 10kg bag of mealie-meal, which was around $300, is now selling between $403,20 and $448, one litre of fresh milk, which was between $48 and $55 is now being sold for prices between $66,99 and $69,99.
Zimbabwe is currently dogged by serious economic problems, which saw nurses last week downing tools emanding a salary increase, with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions threatening to take to the streets in protest of the high cost of living and heavily eroded wages.
The fuel price increase comes at a time government has been trying to put different measures aimed at stabilising the economy, including the introduction of a foreign currency auction system.
With the exchange rate on the black market now hovering above $80 for US$1, economic analysts said, the black market was the biggest culprit in the country’s economic problems. The high inflation figures have negatively impacted on the availability of products on the market. Some products like sugar, cooking oil and mealie-meal are in short supply, with some shops limiting the number of products one can buy.
Speaking to the Daily News on Wednesday, the Consumer Rights’ Association spokesperson, Effie Ncube, said the fuel price increases, were a recipe for disaster, with far-reaching consequences on the general pricing of goods and services in the country.