File picture: Kim Kyung Hoon / Reuters.
File picture: Kim Kyung Hoon / Reuters.

LETTER: Fuel price increases nothing but a government con

By Jayraj Bachu Time of article published Mar 21, 2019

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OPINION - It is time South African motorists got wise to the con that the frequent increases in the price of fuel are due to the rise in international oil prices and the weak rand.

This is certainly not the case. Our price of petrol is governed by fuel levies.

In June, we will be paying 29cents a litre more in taxes for petrol. More specifically, motorists will be coughing up R5.63 in taxes alone on every litre of petrol.

This is simply scandalous and doesn’t factor in upcoming oil price increases.

So while the motorist has long been a go-to cash cow for the government, it overlooks the catastrophic knock-on effect it has on the poor in everything from food to taxi fares.

In a country like South Africa, with its unequal, apartheid-legacy spatial development and long distances for the economically disadvantaged to travel, it is plainly sinful.

Never mind the high unemployment rate.

As for the fuel taxes, the general fuel levy will be hiked by 15c a litre for petrol from April 3; the Road Accident Fund levy will go up by 5c a litre, also from April 3.

From June 5, there will be a new carbon tax of 9c a litre on petrol.

The price of petrol to the consumer is craftily manipulated by selling dummies to the public through token reductions in the price of petrol for a few months.

It is then hiked by unacceptable percentages in a month or so, thereby wiping off any benefits that might have accrued to the consumer.

The public unfortunately has been lulled by complacently accepting the lame excuses of the government.

Jayraj Bachu Clare Estate

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