A motorist fills up with petrol.. Photo: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)
THE Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe, will next week outline plans to deal with rising fuel prices and their impact on South Africans.

Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane yesterday said the government was concerned about the escalating costs of fuel. It would consider measures to alleviate pressure on consumers.

She said Radebe would outline plans in addressing the issue.

A panel set up by Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in the National Treasury to look at more food items to be zero-rated for VAT will also look at the matter.

The government has come under fire from opposition parties and civil society over the latest increase with another fuel price hike in the pipeline next month. The ANC has also urged the government to intervene.

The DA said the government needed to clean up corruption before addressing rising fuel prices. The government should reduce the Road Accident Fund levy and the general fuel levy by 20%, it said.

Mokonyane said: “Minister Radebe, having consulted, will be able to communicate a message that government is concerned and hard at work. It will happen in the course of next week.”

On comments by the ANC for the government to intervene, she said it would be important for the governing party to be informed about measures taken to deal with the situation.

“We are all ANC deployees and affected by the oil price. Minister Radebe will have an integrated response,” said Mokonyane.

She would not comment on whether the fuel levy must be frozen.

Among the contributing factors to the increase in fuel prices was the rand exchange rate for Brent crude oil, she said. The South African currency weakened recently, which had an impact on the cost of crude oil.

She urged the private sector not to immediately pass the cost of fuel on to consumers.

The Energy Department will look at all possible options to deal with the situation.