IFP pushes for a fuel price hike debate
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Cape Town – Inkatha Freedom Party MP Narend Singh says the ANC is out of touch with the needs of the public following the Speaker’s Office refusal to debate on the fuel price and levies which have placed strain on citizens.
Singh said the IFP’s motivation in the request was for government to find a way forward by re-structuring – and reducing – the additional burden imposed by the levies, which amount to more than a third of the cost of each litre of fuel.
Last week the department of energy made an error when announcing the new fuel price hikes which would see motorists coughing up 75 cents per litre and not 81 cents as announced.
“It is of great disappointment to the IFP that the Speaker’s Office refused our request, and suggested we raise the matter directly in the House during the week’s Plenary sessions. Possibly, the Speaker was unaware – but the issue was raised during the week’s debates, yet the Deputy Minister of Finance flatly ignored the question.
“To further add insult to injury, the nation was then advised that the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) had made an error with the fuel price increase. This resulted in millions of South Africans paying even more than was necessary,” Singh said.
He further stated that with an already crippling economy due to Covid-19, a steep hike of this sort is not necessitated.
Singh further added that while noting the error which the department admitted to, he questions what other errors or miscalculations might have occurred in the past.
“Government seems content to leave the man and woman on the street to absorb the impact of these increases, which are not only felt at the fuel pump. The ripple effects reach the tills in the supermarket, where food prices go up yet again; they impact farmers, and in turn, the price of goods; it further directly impacts the cost of public transport. As ever, it is the poorest of the poor who will suffer,” he said.
The IFP will seek to further pursue the matter in the House and Parliament in the coming week.
The Automobile Association has called for a total review of the fuel price, and an audit of all the processes and components which comprise the fuel price.