Inflation climbs in October as food prices increase further

Updated on 24 November 2016

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Today's top entrepreneurship and business stories (24 November)Inflation climbs in October as food prices increase further
Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) reported on November 23 that headline inflation increased from 6.1% year-on-year (y-o-y) in September to 6.4% y-o-y in October. The latest y-o-y figure (calculating the change over a 12-month period) was above market expectations of 6.3% y-o-y. This is according to Christie Viljoen, Senior Economist, KPMG in South Africa. It was also the ninth reading in 2016 so far to breach the upper limit of the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) inflation target range of 3%-6%.

The benchmark food basket cost 0.9% m-o-m more in October. StatsSA recorded a 0.9% m-o-m increase in the cost of meat and a 1.1% m-o-m rise in fish prices. While bread and cereals cost on average only 0.4% m-o-m more last month, the category was 16.5% y-o-y pricier last month. At the same time, vegetables cost nearly 15% y-o-y more while fruit prices were up by an average of almost 25% y-o-y. Inflation was only 5.5% y-o-y when removing the influence of food and beverage prices.

The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) warned that the rise in food prices could add more people to the estimated 14.3 million South Africans seen as being vulnerable to food insecurity at present. On a positive note, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) directorate recorded above-average rainfall during October and early November in South Africa’s main maize growing areas.

Fresh Direct NG, DeliveryBros and Medsaf win 2016 She Leads Africa Demo Day
A container farming company, a motorbike delivery service and an online medical procurement platform went home as the winners at the 2016 She Leads Africa Demo Day. The Demo Day was the closing ceremony to the 6 month She Leads Africa Accelerator entrepreneurship development program.

Supported by the Work in Progress! Alliance and Guaranty Trust Bank, the SLA Accelerator worked with 10 promising companies looking to grow and scale their businesses. At the Demo Day five of the companies were able to pitch their businesses in front of esteemed business leaders to win cash and prizes.

The finalists competed for over N3,500,000 in cash prizes.

The winning startup was Fresh Direct NG, an agricultural technology company which grows produce within shipping containers. An urban farm within the heart of Abuja, within a 20ft shipping container, Fresh Direct NG can grow the same produce as a football pitch and a half. The judges were impressed by the significant potential of founder Angel Adelaja’s company to disrupt the African agriculture and import industry. Angel Adelaja received a N2,000,000 cash prize presented by Guaranty Trust Bank.

The second place winner was DeliveryBros, a motorbike delivery service which aggregates individuals and SMEs who need pickups with riders from various delivery companies who are in the area. The DeliveryBros system aims to reduce the stress of moving packages around Lagos, Abuja and Accra and won N1,000,000 to invest in building the technology and mobile app to optimize the process.

In third place was Vivian Nwakah, co-founder of Medsaf.com, an easy-to-use online platform built for medical service providers such as hospitals, pharmacies and clinics, to purchase and manage medication. BathKandy & Co. founder Blondie Okpuzor received a special mention from the judges as the company to most likely build a billion naira business.

Go Life International lists on AltX
Go Life International, a Mauritian-listed nutraceutical company (SEM: GOLI.N0000) listed on AltX today (JSE: GLI). The primary listing will be retained on the Mauritian exchange.

Through the inward listing, Go Life International is now able to accommodate South African investors who are currently precluded from investing in offshore structures.

Nutraceuticals are products that provide nutrients through various formats. Ewan Seton, GoLife COO, says that the company’s performance for the six months ending August 2016 points towards significant growth. “Go Life SA reported revenues of over R10 million for the year ended 28 February 2016 and we are pleased to report revenues of R8,5 million for the six months ended 31 August 2016. Pharma and healthcare expenditure is increasing with a shift in focus from treatment to prevention through proper nutrition as consumers worldwide take a more proactive approach to their health,” he says.

Go Life International was established to leverage the strength of existing South African nutraceutical companies (Go Life SA) and to drive the presence of the South African products and brands across the global nutraceutical market. The listing follows the acquisition earlier this year of the remaining 78% interest in Go Life Health Products, which holds Gotha Health Products (collectively Go Life SA). The only remaining condition of the acquisition is the listing on AltX, which is required by the South African Exchange Control authorities.

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