Thursday, 29 August 2019

PRICES OF BASIC GOODS UP AGAIN


RETAILERS have increased prices of basic commodities again despite stability in the exchange rate and a consumer outcry over erosion of disposable incomes.

A snap survey conducted in Bulawayo shops yesterday revealed that several leading retailers have this week further increased prices of basic goods such as sugar, mealie meal, soap and cooking oil, among others.

For instance, a 2kg bag of sugar now costs about $20 from $17 last week while a 10kg bag of mealie meal has gone up to $33 from about $25. A 2-litre bottle of cooking oil now costs $27 from about $23 while green bar soap has risen to $12 from about $9. A loaf of bread now costs $7 from $6. Peanut butter, bath soap and rice are also among the affected commodities. 

Consumer Rights Association spokesperson, Mr Effie Ncube, said the incessant price increases, especially on basic goods, were worrying as consumers could not afford them.

“It is getting to a stage where a majority of the people won’t be able to afford anything. So, there is a need for an early intervention on the side of Government to work with whoever is a stakeholder to ensure that we stabilise inflation, prevent speculative pricing or cut down on certain prices,” he said.

“We need to ensure that at the end of the day we have full access to goods and services that we want as the people at affordable prices.”

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers’ president, Mr Denford Mutashu, said the price increases were normal in a liberalised economy. 

“It should stop surprising anyone if prices go up in an environment where the economy is moving fast to full liberalisation owing to the current trajectory by the Ministry of Finance,” he said. Chronicle

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