Cost Of Living On The Rise

The increase comes at a time salaries of workers have remained low and is set to fuel showdown between workers and employers.

The average salary ranges between US$150 to US$200.

According to CCZ the food basket increased by 3% to US$146, 64 from US$144, 19 in December 2010. The detergents increased to US$12, 76 from US$11, 76.

“Generally, all products in the food basket have remained the same compared to the previous month. However, there were increases in the following items: mealie meal by 10c, cooking oil by 25c, tomatoes by 31c, onions by 30c, cabbage by 20c, washing bars by 10c and washing powder by 20c,” CCZ said.

CCZ said it is concerned that the increase in the food basket may be attributed to the traditional behaviour of supermarkets to increasing prices towards the beginning of a new year with the anticipation that workers will receive salary increments.

CCZ said the problem of change needed to be addressed urgently so as not to inconvenience consumers who needed every cent they can have for transport and other needs.

It said although locally manufactured products had increased on the market, they were still not at competitive prices and levels as compared to imported products.

The consumer rights body said there was still a challenge in the area of water supply where a number of households were still running dry.

“Consumers are still concerned about high utility bills which are being received in most areas, moreso as Harare City Council has announced its intention to increase water charges by 40% in its 2011 Budget,” it said.