Mozambique reverses bread price hike

2010-09-07 16:34

kalahari.com

Maputo - Mozambique's government is reversing bread and water price increases that had touched off deadly riots, the planning minister said on Tuesday.

Protests last week in the capital, Maputo, over hikes in the costs of bread, water and electricity turned violent, with demonstrators clashing with police. The health department put the death toll at 13.

Planning Minister Aiuba Cuereneia told reporters after a cabinet meeting that the 20% increase in the government-set price of bread - which had followed a year of steady increases on the staple in this impoverished country - that went into effect on Monday would be reversed.

He said an increase in the price of water also would be reversed, but that higher electricity tariffs were being maintained.

"These are measures we are taking to reduce the cost of living in Mozambique," the minister said. He referred to the protests only to condemn the violence.

Salary increases stopped

The government was cutting back elsewhere to compensate. Cuereneia said the government was suspending salary increases for top government officials and stipends for those chairing the boards of public companies.

The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in a statement on Tuesday its experts did not believe the world was headed toward a food crisis like the one in 2008, when high prices sparked political instability in Mozambique, Haiti and elsewhere.

FAO said this year's cereal harvest worldwide was the third highest on record and food stocks are high. Other conditions, such as soaring fuel prices, that were blamed for the 2007-2008 food crisis aren't present now, officials say.

The FAO nonetheless cautioned that food commodities markets will remain more volatile in coming years. It suggested improving the markets' regulation and establishing an "appropriate level" of emergency food stocks, while assuring fluid global trade in food.

Global food costs

The agency is holding a special session on September 24 to better gauge the food supply situation in member nations, but FAO stressed that the gathering is "not an emergency meeting".

This year, a drought in Russia has prompted the country to restrict wheat exports, helping drive up global food costs.

Mozambique's government has said that keeping food prices low is difficult because so much of the country's food has to be imported. The southeastern African nation grows only 30% of the wheat it needs.

Energy Minister Salvador Namburete has said on Monday that the recent increase in the price of electricity was necessary to cover the cost of electrifying rural areas and constructing a new power line in the country's northwest.

No-one has come forward as the organiser of the protests. Word was spread by cellphone SMSes, and on Monday Mozambicans found they were suddenly unable to send SMSes. It was unclear whether the SMS failure was part of a government crackdown.

The worst of the rioting was on Wednesday and on Thursday. Though it died down after that, the government had struggled to stamp out unrest and protests had flared outside Maputo.

Authorities have said they were trying to trace who sent the first unsigned cellphone messages calling for protests in the southern African nation. Over the weekend, SMSes calling for calm and portraying protests as unpatriotic began to appear - they, too, were unsigned.

- AP
Read more on:    fao  |  mozambique  |  southern africa  |  mozambique riots
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is one of those days where the more positive and optimistic you are the more opportunities you seem to attract....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.