“South Africa is stumbling into a hunger pandemic” and needs to remove VAT on chicken so that families can feed themselves properly, a trade advocacy group has told the BBC’s Newsday programme.
Francois Baird of the Fair Play Movement has warned that regular load shedding, or power blackouts, in South Africa was also contributing to the problem.
“The real effect is on the health of the nation,” Mr Baird said, adding that rising inflation and unemployment meant many people could no longer afford to pay for food.
He said that 27% of children under five were stunted in South Africa because mothers don’t get enough protein while pregnant and this carries on after the children are born, adding that the problem was worse in rural areas.
“Everything possible must be done also to assist small farmers.”
He said that reducing the cost of chicken by removing VAT would help address this, as chicken was a major source of protein for many people in South Africa.
He added that food prices were outpacing people’s salaries, warning that an essential basket of food costs more than the minimum wage per month.