The Tunisian Revolution of 2011 was sparked by the self-immolation of Mohammed Bouazizi in late 2010. Bouazizi epitomised the frustrations of millions of people caused by poverty and hunger sharpened by high unemployment and inflation, widespread state corruption and a lack of political freedoms.
In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a tremor is running across Africa that threatens to ignite new revolts and protests caused by fears of increasing food and fuel prices. Here at home, poor South Africans were dealt a blow last week as the Minister of Finance announced below inflation increases for the historically pitiful social grants. Fuel, food prices and electricity increases will deepen the crippling levels of extreme poverty and hunger.
Let us learn from history and put in place, in time, the safety nets that will prevent another social, economic and political free fall.
Globally, the two biggest cost items for poor households are food and transport. These are both directly affected by the war up north.