Durban - The IFP has written to Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and Energy Minister Jeff Radebe to request the suspension of the General Fuel and Road Accident Fund (RAF) levies on the petrol price per litre.

They have also written to Parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete to schedule a debate around the issue of the increasing fuel price, as a matter of national public importance, in terms of rule 130 (1).

Their call for government intervention comes after a fresh fuel increase this week. 

According to the IFP’s spokesperson on finance, Mkhululeko Hlengwa, the general fuel and RAF levies are estimated to amount to R5.30 per litre and, without it, it would possibly bring down the cost of fuel to just over R11 per litre.

“The IFP is fully aware of the global fuel crisis,” Hlengwa said.

He said Ramaphosa needed to declare austerity measures for all government departments.

“This with a view to make up the cost shortfall on the fuel levies.”

In their letter to Nene and Radebe, the IFP said South Africans could not continue to suffer without relief from undue poverty, while the government has increased VAT, rates and taxes across metros and councils in the country.

He called on the president and cabinet to come up with an action plan to deal with the iimpact of rising fuel costs.

The ANC said the party was concerned by the fuel price hikes, which were “now at their highest level ever and are putting the squeeze on all aspects of life for South ­Africans”.

“Fuel hikes impact directly on the lives of the poor. The energy cost also increases. The rate at which these cost increases are happening is unbearable, and we cannot turn a blind eye nor wish them away.”

“The ANC-led government must mitigate the effects the fuel price hikes have. We call on our government to increase our petrol reserves, seriously consider freezing or decreasing the fuel levy, and to further stabilise governances and finances in the Road Accident Fund, PetroSA and Central Energy Fund,” the party said.

The ANC said it accepted that the rand depreciation was beyond the control of the country and was fuelled largely by US trade wars, the selling-of assets in emerging markets and portfolio outflows.

“We also accept that the fuel price increases are inevitable due to global crude oil prices increases. However, we call on the US to consider the unintended consequences of its trade war and the ripple effects its imposition of sanctions on some oil-producing countries has.

“We also join the call on the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries to help lower fuel prices by increasing oil production.”

The Mercury