File picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – The Cape Chamber of Commerce has expressed concern about yet another fuel price increase to come into effect Tuesday at midnight.

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe announced an increase in fuel prices for this month, in which 95 unleaded goes up by R1.26 a litre on the coast and by R1.31 a litre in Gauteng.

Diesel 0.05 will go up by 76 cents on the coast, while illuminating paraffin will increase by 56 cents on the coast.

“April is an important month on the fuel price calendar to revise road and pipeline tariffs as well as fuel and Road Accident Fund (RAF) levies to be implemented into the price structures of petrol, diesel and Illuminating paraffin (IP).

"Their total contributions to the fuel price increase is about 26.00 cents a litre in Gauteng, while the international factors amounted to about 106.00 cents a litre on petrol and 56.00 cents a litre on diesel and IP,” the department said in a statement.

Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, Geoff Jacobs, said: “We appreciate that the price is determined by a number of external factors, such as the rand depreciating against the dollar and the Brent Crude oil price rising.

"However, there are some local factors such as the fuel and Road Accident Fund levies rising and transport costs increasing because of higher road transport tariffs and pipeline transport costs. 

"Our GDP performance is so poor and way behind what the NDP was based on. How are we supposed to boost the economy when the very cost of doing that has increased?"

Compounded by the drought and the energy crisis, Jacobs said it was difficult for business to step up to the plate.

“We need to adapt accordingly. Those organisations that have fuel as a major item on the income statement have no choice but to be innovative and harness technology to enable them to keep prices steady.”

The Automobile Association of SA said the increases would be compounded by increases in fuel taxes, which come into effect this month. 

“There will be an additional increase of 15 cents for the fuel levy and 5 cents for the RAF levy (which don’t apply to illuminating paraffin).

“We are exceptionally concerned about the rand’s trajectory, given that no specific factors have arisen this month which could account for the decline,” the AA said.

Cape Times