CAPE TOWN – Product and tech company, OLX said on Wednesday that the continuous fuel price hikes directly affected more than three thirds of its users.
OLX South Africa’s communications manager Diana Mjojo said the company’s main source of traffic was price-conscious car buyers. “With the fuel prices going up again – a trend we don’t see coming to an end any time soon – we’re concerned about how it affects our users.”
The Department of Energy (DoE) intervened after the Automobile Association of South Africa anticipated a drastic 23c to 25c a litre fuel price increase for the 5th of September 2018. The intervention led to the fuel price only increasing by 4.5c a litre.
The company lamented that week after week, there was always a petrol price hike threat to consumers. “In a period of 10 years, petrol price has fluctuated but increased by a whooping 66 percent, from R9.66 to R16.08.”
FNB Agri-Business senior agricultural economist, Paul Makube, said a further strain on the consumer had almost been averted following the announcement of the intervention by the DoE to limit the fuel increase to only 5c a litre to cover the costs of wage increases of frontline staff at service stations.
“The poorest households who spend a large portion of their income on transport however remain under strain as travelling costs remain high at current levels,” said Makube.
Meanwhile African Young Activists (AYA), said it had recently acquired co-ownership of a plan designed to reduce the fuel price and loosen the grip it had on South African’s budgets.
AYA said one of its ideas would be to subsidise the fuel levy government collects. “The government collects about R62.8 billion from the fuel levy, and taking the idea that was sent to them, South Africa would have collected R68bn with an increase annually, thus they could afford to subsidise the fuel levy without costing the country and reduce the fuel price by roughly R3.37.
“The second idea would reduce the price of fuel by about R2.29. This was calculated using the amount of litres of fuel South Africans use a year and multiplying it by the current fuel price and then subtracting the subsidy government would receive.”
AYA said it sympathised with South Africans regarding the increased fuel prices.