Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town -  The high fuel price is a crisis of the African National Congress’ (ANC) making, which will have a negative impact on every South African, particularly the poor, eating into their already diminished transport budgets, the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Wednesday.

DA spokesperson on energy Kevin Mileham pointed to South Africans are coughing up 74 cents more per litre of petrol and between 91 and 93 cents more per litre of diesel due to Wednesday’s fuel increase after the Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe announced the increase on Monday morning. He said the price hikes were due to an increase in international crude oil prices.

“The increase on input costs for numerous industries will also negatively affect businesses, agriculture, and manufacturing, squeezing their profits that means new jobs will not be created and others may be lost,” Mileham said in a statement.

According to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, South Africans must brace themselves for yet another fuel increase of 29 cents owing to government’s raising of taxes on fuel from  April 1.

“This high fuel price is a crisis of the ANC’s making. They have continually used the fuel levy to top up an ineffectual, corrupt and mismanaged fiscus that has wasted billions on problematic state-owned entities. The R59 billion used by the ANC government to bail out these state-owned entities could be used to reduce the tax on fuel,” he said, adding that the pace and speed by the energy department to review the fuel pricing formula has been unreasonably slow, as the technical team’s report into the petrol price was over 100 days late.

Mileham said a DA government would look at a stabilisation fund, coupled with a smoothing mechanism, to reduce the impact of oil price and exchange rate fluctuations on the fuel price.

“The DA would reduce the reliance on fuel levy increases to boost government revenue by cutting a bloated Cabinet, tightening government’s belt to halt wasteful spending and capping the government’s public sector wage bill.”

African News Agency/ANA