Durban - Experts have warned consumers to prepare for another steep fuel price increase next week. The AA has warned that consumers could expect an increase of about R2 for the prices of petrol and diesel.
Layton Beard, AA spokesperson, said unaudited fuel price data from the Central Energy Fund showed a possible increase of R1.80 in the price of petrol, and an increase of R1.60 in the price of diesel.
“The important thing to remember is that the minister of finance and the minister of mineral resources and energy jointly announced that the General Fuel
Levy was reduced by R1.50 from March to June. For July, the General Fuel Levy will decrease by just 75 cents.
“In effect, that 75 cents that is being added back to the General Fuel Levy will push the fuel price to over R2, and that will be very worrying for consumers,” said Beard.
Beard added that this would have a major impact on the economy.
“When the fuel price goes up, it affects every individual in the country and we have to be concerned about this. Fuel has a knock-on effect and we can expect the prices of goods and everything to rise,” said Beard.
Sifiso Shangase, spokesperson for the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) in KwaZulu-Natal, said the industry was faced with a tough time.
“We were faced with the July unrest last year and before that we battled through the Covid-19 pandemic, and now we are struggling with ongoing fuel price increases.
“All this has negatively impacted the taxi industry – we are especially concerned that this will not be the last increase that we are going to see,” said Shangase. He also confirmed that taxi fares would go up tomorrow.
“Due to the fuel increases, taxi fares will go up by at least R1 for short distance travel. However, there are different routes – so it can be up to R2 or more, depending on the routes. Long-distance travel will obviously take more fuel and will have larger increases in taxi fare,” added Shangase. He said the price increase notices would be put up on the taxis on Friday and he appealed for communities to understand the need for the increases.
“We really want to say that, in this situation, we can’t have people turning to violence, blockading roads and damaging infrastructure. We have had too much of this and we can’t afford any more violent protests. Our economy can’t take any more disruptions.”
Neil Roets, CEO of Debt Rescue, said South Africans were already heavily indebted and the predicted fuel-price increases were going to add to consumers’ woes.
“When the fuel price increases, we can expect that it will filter through to goods, groceries, services and essentials. The reality is that salaries don’t increase at the same rate at which prices are going up, and that leads to more debt for the South African consumer,” said Roets.
Dr Ntokozo Nzimande, a senior lecturer in the Department of Economics, at the University of Cape Town, said he was not expecting the fuel price hike to be anything less than R2.
“At this point, anything more than one cent will have a damaging effect on the country’s already struggling economy,” said Nzimande.
He added that transportation costs would probably rise, meaning that food prices and other costs would rocket.