Zim Poverty Datum Line Shoots To $17 244 While Average Wage Is $7 000
17 September 2020

Paul Nyathi

Zimbabwe’s poverty datum line (PDL)increased nearly 11 percent in August to $17 244, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) said on Thursday.

The agency pointed this to the continued rise in prices of goods and services despite recent exchange rate stability.

The PDL measures the monthly requirement for a family of five for food and other basic needs and services.

In July, the poverty line stood at $15 573.

“The Total Consumption Poverty Line for one person stood at $3 449 in
August 2020 while that for an average of five persons per household during the same period stood at $17 244,” the statistics agency said.

For food alone, one person required $1 442 while a family of five
needed about $7 211.

Inflation during the same month fell to 761.02 percent from 837.53 in July.

With the bulk of employees in the country earning less than $7 000,
which translates to about US$85 using the official exchange rate, it means most formally employed workers are struggling to make ends meet.

While the International Labour Organisation recommends that PDL should be used as a benchmark in determining minimum wages, most local companies are unable to meet this in the prevailing Covid-19 trading environment where business activity has slowed down.

Some have been forced to actually slash the salaries to remain afloat.