Most workers in Zimbabwe are now earning less than 60% of the estimated cost of living for a family of six, which is currently pegged at ZWL$50 000, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) has said.
The ZCTU president, Peter Mutasa, said the situation was dire for workers urging the government and the private sector to review salaries as a “matter of urgency”.
“It’s a pity that most of our workers are earning less than 60% of the family basket and can’t afford basic commodities and can’t prepare a basic meal due to very low wages,” Mutasa told Business Times.
In the past few months prices of basic goods have been skyrocketing and now beyond the reach of many.
The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) said the recent basic commodities price increases had gone beyond the reach of many due to erosion of the buying power.
The cost of living as measured by the CCZ’s low income urban earner monthly basket for a family of six increased by 2.05% to ZWL$49 343.81 by the end of September 2021 from ZWL$48 353.38 by the end of August .
The consumer watchdog said the further relaxation of the lockdown regulations has resulted in an increased movement of consumers, activities of the market place and change of consumer behaviour patterns emanating from the eroding of consumer buying power.
The food basket increased by ZWL$909.35 or 5.29% to ZWL$18 111.89 by end of September 2021 from ZWL$17 202.54 by the end of August 2021.
The price of detergents increased by ZWL $81.08 or 6.11% to ZWL$1408.92 from ZWL$1327.84.
CCZ said the market is slowly adjusting to the displaying of prices in both US$ and RTGS as provided for by the Statutory Instrument 185.
The consumer council observed that most of the big supermarkets are complying with the Statutory Instrument 185, therefore, encouraged consumers when they are buying in US dollars to be knowledgeable of the prevailing weekly auction exchange rate to avoid being overcharged.