It is widely known that South Africa has one of the world’s highest inequality rates, which has contributed to widespread food insecurity and persistent poverty. The Basic Needs Basket Project grew out of a need to contextualise how poverty, an unstable economy, inflation and increasing food and basic necessities costs affect lower income households and their ability to lead a decent standard of living. In highlighting the need to address the unacceptable poverty that has become a reality for the majority, the Basic Needs Basket Project has endeavoured to broaden the dialogue on poverty, hunger and what is required for a dignified ,decent, affordable and healthy lifestyle for all. To gain further insight into the scope of a decent standard of living, the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII) in partnership with the Association of Community-based Advice Offices of South Africa (ACAOSA) with support from the Church of Sweden, the Basic Needs Basket project was re-launched in 2014 to monitor, across the 9 provinces of South Africa in both rural and urban areas, frequently purchased items (food and non-food essential items) by lower income households on a monthly basis to ascertain people’s everyday basic needs.

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