Johannesburg – Thousands of Joburg motorists braved the chilly weather on Tuesday to fill their tanks before fuel price increase of between R1.07 and R2.43 from midnight on Wednesday.
Last night was their last chance to save a few bucks before the price of fuel shoots up at midnight.
For good measure, a car with a 50 litre fuel tank using 95 unleaded petrol, will see motorists in Joburg and other inland cities, spend over R116.50 more on a full tank. In the scenario in which a motorist uses one tank per week in the same 50 litre fuel tank vehicle , they will spend over R466 more on fuel per month in June.
The fuel price breached R20 per litre for the first time in December last year, causing strain for cash strapped citizens who are facing food price increases and interest rate hikes from the banks.
At the BP service station, e-hailing driver Arnold Nevhungoni, 37, from Cosmo City, filled up his Mercedes-Benz C Class until some fuel was seen splattering onto the ground.
For Nevhungoni, who rents the vehicle for R4 500 per week in order to operate it as a premium Uber Black driver, the petrol price increase is bad news.
“This petrol price is hurting us since we work on Uber, we are really struggling because of this petrol and the government says they will make a plan for the levies on petrol but it’s still increasing,” Nevhungoni says.
“The way this affects us is very bad because now we are basically going to be working for petrol, all the money we make will be going to petrol, what will our children eat at home,” he said.
Nevhungoni hopes Uber will adjust their fares to meet the strain that will be caused by the massive fuel increase, but he and other e-hailing drivers don’t expect Uber to adjust prices having failed to do so since prices hit the R20 per litre mark in December.
“I hope that Uber can really increase the price even just a little so that we can manage this petrol situation, and I hope that our clients will think of us as well by tipping us because Uber has not done anything to adjust the prices since the costs started increasing last year,” he said.
Riding in a group of three is Danie van Wyk, a 53-year-old man from Alberton.
“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous, it’s unfair, it’s not fair to the people,” he says of the latest fuel price increase.
Van Wyk, who is still on the way to a work opportunity after 8pm on a Tuesday evening, says he has been looking at creative ways of making additional income to keep abreast with the rising demands on the middle class in South Africa.
“It’s insane it’s like the whole middle class is disappearing, people can’t afford to pay their bills, it’s expensive.
“We know the price of fuel comes with an increase price in almost everything, it’s financial suicide, people can’t get ahead, I think people really should dig deep,” he said.
Video man Mark Klein, 65, Bryanston, said the fuel price left a sinking feeling.
“It’s kind of debilitating because everything goes up, it’s got a knock on and a roll on effect which is going to hit everybody very hard. More could be done by the government,” he said.
Lufuno Ramasimu, 40, from Fourways said while the price of fuel and other expense items were on the increase, salaries were not increasing to meet the financial pressure on consumers.
“Everything is going to go up,” she said.
“If the fuel is going up everything is going up, the cooking oil is up, but the salary is not going up.”