South Africa’s annual inflation slowed to 3,1% in December, a level last seen 16 years ago, but food inflation has risen 6% annually, pushed mainly by panic buying by consumers. Fruits, oils and fats are among the major food categories that are driving food prices higher, having increased 11.8% and 10.2% between December 2019 and December 2020 respectively. Sugar, sweets and desserts rose 8.4%, meat was up 7.3% and milk, eggs and cheese saw a rise of 6.4%, while bread and cereals now cost 5% more. But senior agriculture economist at FNB, Paul Makube, says there will be some reprieve for consumers and that prices will ease in the short-term, citing a bumper crop currently taking place.