Food Price Hikes Compound Hardships


Namibia, like the rest of the world, is buckling under sharp food price increases, New Era reports.

By Catherine Sasman


“It is terrible, something must be done about the increase in food prices,” said 61-year-old pensioner, Evelene Mafanga, after she has done her shopping and walks to look for a taxi back home.

She holds out her hand to show the change she has left after buying a loaf of brown bread – N$3.10.

“This is all I have left. As a pensioner I cannot cope without falling into debt and when the pension monies come in at the end of the month, everything goes out to service the debt.”

Most pensioners, she said, are caught in this vicious financial circle and the staggering increase on food prices, particularly basic foodstuffs, has dunked this group even more into debt and poverty.

While one of her children helps her to pay her rent, she lives alone and struggles alone to keep her head above water, she says.

Her monthly shopping trolley has shrunk to five kilogrammes mealie-meal, five kilogrammes bread flour, cooking oil, a packet of Rooibos tea, two kilogrammes of brown sugar and meat consisting of some sausages, some beef, but mostly offal.

“I just cannot get that piece of chicken usually reserved for Sundays anymore,” she said.

“See what I have bought for lunch,” said Margareth Muyunda (53), opening her yellow plastic shopping bag to illustrate her point.

“I can only afford two br??????’??


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