Pretoria - The fuel price drop, which started at the beginning of the month, has been met with mixed feelings and a variety of reactions by Tshwane residents, with some feeling it will not really benefit them.
The announcement was made by the Automobile Association (AA) towards the end of last month, which said it was the result of an improved exchange rate held steady by an unaudited month-end fuel data released by the Central Energy Fund.
It said the price of petrol would drop by up to 38c a litre, diesel by 47c and illuminating paraffin by 26c.
“If the rand maintains its current stable trend against the US dollar, the main driver of fuel price, (there may be further) changes in the near future,” the AA explained.
But former minister of finance, Malusi Gigaba, also announced an increase in the VAT, the rate of which would move to 15% and, he said, motorists could expect a petrol hike of about of 52c/* from April 4.
The Pretoria News took to the streets to get the feeling of the people, and got a mixed bag of reactions.
Phuthi Nyaka, 30, from Pretoria West, said the price drop would be beneficial to him as a motorist because every cent saved was important.
Lefa Mohlala was also happy with the news. The 23 year-old said he often borrowed his father’s car to drive from his Lotus Garden home.
Their sentiments were echoed by CBD residents Lugile Giyane and Nondumiso Temba, 21 and 17, who said although they did not have vehicles, they welcomed the drop. They were, however, doubtful about the spin-offs: “It does not translate to a drop in taxi prices,” Giyane said.
And this was a big problem, Mamelodi commuter Musa Ntshangase added. “Taxi costs don’t decrease no matter how much petrol prices decreases, so I cannot be excited at all. The decrease is basically useless, because it does not reduce the cost of public transport,” said the 36 year-old.
Happy Kgatla said: “As someone who lives in Hammanskraal I think the decrease will help a lot of people. Hammanskraal is far so I know a lot of motorists will save money and then use it for other things.”
Atteridgeville resident Phumudzo Tshivule, 19, and Waverley resident Malizole Jacobs, 30, said the decrease was a good thing, but it would be better if it could be maintained at a lower level for longer. They welcomed the lower petrol prices.