by RICHARD MUPONDE
THE cost of living continues to rise in Zimbabwe, with an ordinary family of five now requiring an average of $24 935 to cover its monthly expenses up from $22 000, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) has said.
The majority of employees in the country, especially civil servants earn salaries which are a far cry from the poverty datum line (PDL).
Government employees have been crying for a living wage or paid in United States dollars in excess of US$500.
Teachers are currently earning a gross salary of $20 000 after the Apex Council accepted a government pay offer in November against the will of most civil service unions such as teachers.
On Wednesday, ZimStat reported that the food poverty line (FPL) for one person in January 2021 was $3 768 while the total consumption poverty line (TCPL) for one person stood at $4 987 in the same month.
Based on the above figures and multiplying them by five people who normally constitute an average family in Zimbabwe, the total figure now required stands at $24 935.
“The poverty datum lines vary by province as prices vary from place to place. The differences are explained by differences in average prices in the provinces,” ZimStat said.
The TCPL for one person stood at $4 670 last month and the new figures for this January showed an increase of 1,3%.
The latest report showed the cost of living was high in Bulawayo, which registered a TCPL of $5 503 followed by Manicaland at $5 224, Mashonaland Central stood at $5 649 while Matabeleland South had the least figure of $4 378.
ZimStat also reported that the month-on-month inflation rate in January 2021 was 2,76% gaining 0,01 percentage points from the December 2020 rate of 2,75%.
The year-on-year inflation rate for this month as measured by the all items blended under the consumer price index stood at 192%.
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