Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The prices of fuel‚ vegetables‚ oils‚ fats‚ bread‚ cereals and fruits have all fallen since the start of the year.

This is according to latest consumer price index (CPI) from Stats SA.

The price of fuel has dropped by 1.7% from January to August. This means it costs R577 inland to fill a 45-litre tank with 93 octane petrol, down from R589. However, recent fuel price increases may change the picture towards the end of the year.

Recent Stats SA figures showed South Africans spend more money on beer than vegetables: beer accounted for 2.1% of household spending while only 1.5% was spent on vegetables.

Stellenbosch University dietician Irene Labuschagne was not surprised, saying South Africans’ alcohol consumption was "alarming".

There has been a 3.6% drop in the price of vegetables. Labuschagne suspects the public is unaware of these decreases and the value for money of buying vegetables over sweets.

Lettuce‚ tomatoes‚ pumpkins and potatoes in particular contributed to the price decrease. But she is uncertain that lower prices will change behaviour: "It is not as if people are going to start buying more [vegetables]‚ because they are already in the habit of buying products they are used to buying."

The cherry on top for those who eat healthily is that the price of fruit has decreased by 8.4% to levels last seen in June 2016. Bananas‚ plums and pineapples were the main contributors to this drop. But Labuschagne doubts this will have a significant effect on the basket of most consumers.

The price of bread and cereal fell 4% after steeply rising in 2016. StatsSA said the decrease is due to crop production recovering from one of the worst droughts in South African history.

However‚ South Africans have had to pay more for education‚ medical services‚ insurance‚ water‚ electricity and meat during 2017.

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