DURBAN - Advocacy group, People Against Petrol Price Increases (PAPPI), has threatened mass action if nothing is done about rising petrol prices in the country.
As Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana is set to present the country’s mid-term budget before parliament this afternoon, PAPPI has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa and Parliament to develop a plan that will cushion consumers against rising fuel prices.
PAPPI’s national convenor, Visvin Reddy, warned that the fuel price increases would have a catastrophic effect on the country’s citizens and called on Ramaphosa and parliament to reduce taxes, a move which the advocacy body said would help mitigate against the huge fuel increases imposed in November.
“The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy recently announced a shocking 7% hike in the retail price, bringing the cost of fuel close to R20 a litre, the highest in recorded history. The latest increase will have a catastrophic impact on consumers reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Reddy.
He said that the price increases demonstrated that the politicians have completely ignored the plight of citizens but warned of a backlash from citizens.
"South Africans must not take this lying down. We have to fight back. More than 50% of the fuel price is made up in taxes,” Reddy said, adding that the increases will mean a bleak festive season for many as the price of food and other essential items will also go up.
“PAPPI wants the South African government to follow the example of India. The Indian government has reduced state taxes on fuel to assist consumers, farmers and the trucking companies. The revenue collected through fuel taxes amounts to about R100bn which can be easily recovered from a super tax on the companies listed on the JSE,” Reddy stressed.
Meanwhile, the Road Freight Association chief executive Gavin Kelly said the fuel increases would result in an increase in operational costs, which would ultimately fall on the consumers.
He warned that the increases could result in some transporters just opting out of business because they do not have the cash reserves to pay for fuel in the short term.
“This(fuel increase) makes the cost of logistics in South Africa more expensive – could take transit freight away from us,” the chief executive warned.
Another advocacy group, the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group, also expressed concern about the rise in fuel price and called for greater government involvement in cushioning consumers.