Business

Copperbelt cost of living sky-rockets

By KALONDE NYATI
THE cost of living on the Copperbelt is going up with Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflections (JCTR) calling on Government to implement effective poverty reduction programmes.
According to the JCTR basic needs basket, the cost of living in Ndola increased to K3,251 in the month of July from K3,194 recorded the previous month while the cost of living in Kitwe and Luanshya stood at K2,614 from K2,593 and K2,670 from K2,625, respectively.
JCTR media and information officer for Copperbelt, North-Western and Luapula provinces Tendai Posiana said this in a statement issued in Lusaka on Friday.
On average, a family of five in Kitwe spends K149 on two bags of mealie-meal, K139 on meat and K37.60 on tomato.
About K181 was spent on electricity, K95 on water and sanitation and K1,500 on accommodation in a medium density area in the period under review.
The basic needs basket states that two 25-kilogramme bags of breakfast mealie-meal stood at K150.80 while accommodation, electricity and water and sanitation in a medium density area stood at K900, K266 and K52.00, respectively.
In Luanshya, in a medium density area, two 25-kilogramme bags of breakfast maize meal stood at K150 with accommodation, electricity and water and sanitation at K800, K305 and K75.90, respectively.
Ms Posiana said Government should develop strategies aimed at increasing the long-term capabilities of majority of households to access basic needs such as food, clean water, health and shelter.
JCTR acknowledges measures taken by Government such as the social cash transfer scheme to cushion poor households but said the cost of living was on the rise.
“Bank of Zambia should put in place strategic monetary policies that will help control inflation to make Zambia a strong economy,” she said.
She said Government should adopt policies that encourage value addition to raise foreign exchange for the country, thus reducing excessive borrowing by the Government.

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