The South African Informal Traders Alliance (SAITA) has asked the government to do away with tariff taxes and VAT on chicken products
SAITA represents over 2 million informal and micro businesses across South Africa. According to The Poultry Site, the alliance said it will provide informal traders and consumers from low income households with the appropriate relief as prices continue to rise.
“South Africans are really struggling financially,” said Rosheda Muller, national president of SAITA. “The cost of living seems to be rising to unsustainable levels, especially when you consider that wages are not increasing the same way.”
“Every single day we are seeing that another cost is going up – petrol, electricity, transport, and most importantly, food,” she said. “Chicken is perhaps the most important part of our diet, and often the only meat that communities can afford. For this reason, government would do well to consider removing both VAT, and all other taxes that come in the form of tariffs, to help its people survive.”
The most common products sold by informal traders and spaza shops are fruit and vegetables, chicken and eggs, dairy products, chips, sweets, cold drinks, and tobacco products.
“What happens when a person can no longer afford a product is that they trade down, or just stop eating it,” said Muller. “The problem is that the price of all nutrition-rich products eaten in poorer communities is going up.”
According to Muller, price increases are as follows:
Chicken liver +32%
Beef liver +30%
Chicken pieces +11%
“When food prices increase to these levels, people go hungry and they don’t get the nutrient-rich foods that they need to stay healthy,” said Muller.