AN average Zimbabwean family of five people required at least ZWL$2 192 in September this year to meet its basic needs for it not to be deemed poor, a 20 percent jump from the previous month, data released on Thursday shows.
In August, the same family required ZWL$1 827 according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency. Prices of goods and services have continued to go up since the beginning of the year on the back of a loss in value of the local currency against major currencies, especially the United States dollar. “The TCPL (Total Consumption Poverty Line) for an average of five persons stood at $2 191.62 in September 2019,” Zimstat said.
“This means that an average household required that much to purchase both food and non-food items for them not to be deemed poor.”
The TCPL is commonly referred to as the Poverty Datum Line (PDL). While the quantities of commodities in the food basket is fixed, Zimstat said the PDL varied by province, with the lowest being $2 007 in Mashonaland Central and Matabeleland North being the highest at $2 365.
Zimstats said during the same month, an individual required $176.61, up from $145.06 in August.
The continued rise in the cost of living places the majority of workers below the PDL as many of those in formal employment are earning below ZWL1 000. Government is facing pressure from its employees who recently declared that they were incapacitated to come to work due to the continued rise in the cost of living against stagnant incomes. Workers are demanding that their salaries, like most critical goods and services, be pegged to the interbank rate. — New Ziana.