Johannesburg – The recent increase in fuel price will have far-reaching consequences. South Africans have been left reeling after the price of 93 Unleaded petrol increased by R2.43 per litre, while 95 Unleaded went up by R2.33.
Diesel prices increased by a smaller margin, but nonetheless it was still a substantial R1.07 increase in the case of 50ppm and R1.10 for 500ppm.
Illuminating paraffin has also gone up by R1.56 per litre.
It is evident that the increase will impact everyone, from the man on the street to big business.
The reactions from South Africans have varied, with some bemoaning the increase and reflecting on how it will affect their businesses.
Nicole Nelson, an entrepreneur from Johannesburg, said she did not know what she was going to do because she needed to absorb the cost of the fuel and the impact it had on the ingredients she used to make her products.
Keith Peterson, also from Johannesburg, had this advice for consumers: “Start using your Google Maps. Start using alternative routes to find out how to get to your destination faster, but at a slower pace.”
He also advised people to start dressing warmly so that there would no need to use the aircon, which would save on fuel. He also suggested the use of a lift club to save on fuel costs.
Kagiso Mohoaduba, 25, spoke about how the fuel price hike would affect his pocket as his daily commute to work would now cost more.
In reaction to the mammoth increase, Denesh Singh, the chief operating officer of the KwaZulu-Natal-based logistics company BigFoot Express Freight, told South Africans to brace themselves and expect to pay more for food, transportation, and other basic necessities.
Singh pointed out that the taxi and security industries had already moved swiftly to increase their prices and pass on the effect of the levy to consumers
“The logistics sector has been battered over the past few months by wave after wave of fuel increases and for many companies to stay afloat, they will inevitably have to pass on these increases,” Singh said.
He said that despite a last-minute reprieve by the government to extend the R1.50 general fuel levy, which prevented an even higher fuel increase, South Africans were in for a bumpy ride.
Civil society group OUTA welcomed the extension of the temporary reduction in the fuel levy as desperately needed relief for motorists, commuters, businesses, and the economy.
OUTA CEO Wayne Duvenage lamented the high cost of the levies included in the fuel price and appealed to the government to revisit the calculations they used to make up the fuel price
He said: “Levy increases need to be controlled, the whole make-up of the petrol price and all those components, the formulas that are applied need to be revisited – which they are doing and these are good things. I think clearly this is what we talk about when we say, ‘use the crisis to restructure, to reinvent how we structure the petrol price going forward’ ”.