Cape Town – The Central Energy Fund’s mid-month unaudited data indicate that the petrol price could be increased by R1.12 in October. This increase will be accompanied by an R1.17 increase in paraffin per litre and an R1.38 increase in diesel.
Energy minister Jeff Radebe has raised concerns following the announcement. Radebe said that the increasing oil price and the depreciating rand should raise concerns and that there is no simple solution to resolve the situation. He said that the intervention programme implemented in September to subsidise increase will not be able to repeat it due to the current state of the economy. Radebe announced that a task team of department officials and the Treasury has been assembled to look into the pricing of fuel.
Member of Parliament for the Inkatha Freedom Party Mkhuleko Hlengwa said that that the government should suspend fuel levies. This is to allow South Africans to gradually adjust to the increases while the oil price regulates.
The Automobile Association says that the increases will take a huge toll on businesses and the agricultural sector, who is already in a difficult position given the droughts. This will, in turn, have a negative impact on consumers who may have to fork out a lot more for goods and services.
Lobby group People Against Petrol and Paraffin Increases have announced that they will be planning a nationwide strike on 28 September. The group is appealing to the government to negotiate with crude oil suppliers on price reductions. The group says it wants to highlight the difficulty that the average South African will experience given the increase in petrol price.