Africa & World

Paying the price of looting: Bread prices shoot up in Durban

DURBAN – The price of bread has skyrocketed in parts of Durban in the aftermath of unrest and widespread looting, with some retailers marking the price at as much as R40 for a loaf.

Local residents in the area subsequently going up in arms over the astronomical increase. Residents claim they have been forced to pay exorbitant amounts of money for bread by the truck drivers of a privately-owned bakery – BB Bakeries – as well as by the local tuck shops.

The bakery is now preparing to launch an investigation into the price that is circulating and said in a notice posted to its Facebook page.

The Durban-based bakery — which resumed operations on Friday after being affected by unrest and looting — said in a notice posted to its Facebook page: “With regard to price price hikes and bread being sold to the public directly from trucks, we’d like to notify our BB Bakeries community that our bread price has not changed, and we will investigate any scenario where bread is being sold at inflated prices.

“If you come across or have any details of illicit activity (area, driver and/or vehicle information), please notify us so we’re able to investigate.”

The notice was in response to a flood of complaints from Durban residents who said they paid between R20 and R40 for a loaf after bread became a scarce food item in the past week.

“I bought one loaf at local tuck shop for R20. When I asked them why, they said it is because it is hard to get bread these days. I bought anyway,” one resident said in response to the BB Bakeries post.

Another lamented: “These prices are killing us. Buying bread for R30 and the prices go up every single day.”

One resident said she was told to “take it or leave it” by a tuck shop owner selling bread for R40 a loaf.

“I bought bread from a BB Bakeries truck parked at a Shell garage on Higginson highway for R30 a loaf. This is ridiculous,” said another resident.

Bread has also become a scarce food item as the fear of a food shortage begins to set in across different parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Briefly/TimesLIVE

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