‘Match salaries to basic commodity prices’

The Chronicle

Michael Makuza, Business Reporter
THE Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) has said there is a need to match the cost of basic commodities with salaries of both private and public sector workers.

This comes after the reduction of fuel prices over the past few weeks but the prices of basic commodities such as mealie-meal, sugar and cooking oil continue to rise.

CCZ Matabeleland regional manager Mr Comfort Muchekeza said in view of prevailing salaries for both sectors, there has to be a way of matching the cost of goods and salaries.

“You look at the cost against what employees are being paid both in public and private sector, over 90 percent of employees, they earn way below the poverty datum line,” he said.

“There has to be a way of matching the cost of goods and the salaries.”


According to CCZ, the Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) stood at $23 479,44 per person in July.

He also said the Tripartite Negotiating Forum should look closely at the issue when they are coming up with salaries.

A snap survey conducted by Business Chronicle in Bulawayo revealed that prices of basic commodities like mealie-meal, sugar, milk and cooking oil were slowly rising.


The price of a two kg bag of sugar is between $1 580 and $2 300, a two-litre cooking oil bottle ranges between $3 400 and $4 400 and a 10kg mealie-meal is between $4 130 and $6 120 depending on the retail outlet.

Despite the drop of fuel prices over the past month and this month, Mr Muchekeza said prices of basic goods have gone up.

“Prices of the very basic goods have gone up and we are talking about cooking oil, mealie-meal, sugar, milk and we can’t even talk about beef.

The cost of even a cabbage and almost all basic food stuffs have gone up. At the same time over the past week or so we have been experiencing the reduction in the prices of fuel which many at time is used as though that is the cost driver for most of these commodities in terms of manufacturing,” he said.

Meanwhile, for several weeks, the country has enjoyed relative exchange rate stability following adoption of fiscal and monetary measures by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe aimed at containing speculative parallel activity, keeping money supply under check.

The introduction of gold coins as an alternative store of value and promoting the use of the local dollar has helped stabilise the exchange rate.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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