The IFP said it was urgent that fuel levies be suspended to lessen the adverse impact on the country's poor. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency/ANA

Durban - The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) said on Tuesday it was urgent that fuel levies be suspended to lessen the adverse impact on the country's poor.  

"As of April 1 the total cost of the general fuel levy, the RAF levy and customs and excise taxes, plus the new carbon tax, would amount to R5.63 per litre for petrol and R5.49 per litre for diesel," said the party via an emailed statement. 

At midnight on Tuesday, the price of 95 octane petrol would increase by R1.31 per litre inland and R1.26 in coastal areas. Illuminating paraffin would increase by 63 cents.  

"The poor and vulnerable will bear the brutal brunt of these incessant increases," said the IFP.

"South Africans can ill-afford these ill-considered fuel hikes born out of laziness on the part of government to explore alternative means to generate taxes on one hand and reduce fuel prices on the other. The risks to the economy insofar as certainty and sustainability are concerned because of these increases are grave."

The party reiterated its call for all fuel levies to be suspended with immediate effect until the country started showing positive growth and the stimulus package presented last year started yielding positive results.  

South Africans have been squeezed by a series of price hikes including VAT and rates and taxes at a municipal level. 

"The government must consider the extremely concerning and prevailing price hike in fuel, and the deleterious effects this will have not only on the South African economy at large, but more importantly, on the welfare of ordinary South African citizens who will once again shoulder the negative impact of the increase of costs to business, who will simply pass such costs increases onto the consumer," said the IFP. 

African News Agency (ANA)