File picture: Courtney Africa / Independent Media.
File picture: Courtney Africa / Independent Media.

No quick fix to halt fuel hikes, says Minister

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Aug 22, 2018

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Johannesburg - Energy minister Jeff Radebe has defended himself against accusations by the ­DA that he has failed to develop a plan to address the escalation of fuel prices.

Radebe said it would be wrong to assume the government hasn’t been doing anything to deal with the price hikes. There was no quick-fix solution but measures were being considered, he added.

However, the DA said yesterday that Radebe had, for the past three months, failed to act on the matter.

The party said the reaction by the public and MPs has shown that government was not on top of the situation.

Radebe hit back, saying the government’s plan would be known soon.

“Contrary to the DA, the ­officials have proven they are up to the task,” he said.

Radebe’s department as well as the Central Energy Fund are looking into the matter.

The Deputy Director-General for Petroleum and Petroleum Products Regulation, Tseliso Maqubela, said it has been in discussions with the National Treasury on how to deal with the fuel price. Maqubela said it had not discussed adjustments with the National Treasury because the national budget was made in February.

The DA’s Gavin Davis said the minister of finance could be asked to intervene and make adjustments to the fuel levy in October when he tables the medium term budget policy statement.

Maqubela said this would not be possible.

“We have not gone to that level of discussion on the fuel levy. Parliament has already passed a vote (on the budget). If we were to make a proposal it would be proposals going forward,” said Maqubela.

Davis said it was clear there was no quick-fix solution, but government must produce a plan to address it.

Jan Esterhuizen of the IFP agreed with the view that government must re-think the high fuel levy.

Political Bureau

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