Poverty line jumps to $3 160 in October: Zimstat

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AN average Zimbabwean family required at least $3 160 in October this year to meet its basic needs for it not to be deemed poor, a 4.2 percent jump from $2 192 the previous month, latest data released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency Zimstat (Zimstat) shows.

The jump reflects a continued increase in the prices of goods and services, after the figure jumped from $1 827 in August.

“The TCPL ((Total Consumption Poverty Line) for an average of five persons stood at $3 159.52 in October 2019. This means that an average household required that much to purchase both food and non-food items for them not to be deemed poor,” said Zimstat.

“This represents an increase of 44.2 percent when compared to the September 2019 figure of $2 191.62.”

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 $2 904 in Mashonaland Central while Matabeleland North was the highest at $3 359. During the same month, an individual required $271 to meet the barest minimum of requirements, up from $177 the previous month.

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 $1 000 per month. Government is facing pressure from its employees who recently declared that they were incapacitated to go to work due to the continued rise in the cost of living against stagnant incomes.

Junior doctors have been on strike for more than 70 days with more than 400 of them having since been fired for absenting themselves without official leave for more than five days. — New Ziana

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