Johannesburg - There’s some good news for consumers next week, the fuel price should come down. Petrol could drop by as much as R1.20 a litre, with diesel costing 80c a litre less.
It’s a small reprieve after the wringer that ordinary South Africans have been put through in recent months. These have not been easy times: spiralling retail prices and the concomitant hiking of the lending rate by the Reserve Bank have tightened the screws on almost everyone.
The one thing that can make a major difference though is the fuel price. Inland cities depend on all their goods being trucked in, in the absence of a functioning rail network. The majority of commuters depend on taxis to get to where they work – or to seek work.
A rise in the fuel price only has one outcome. We all know this. What we also know is that the fuel price is, literally, fluid. Predicated on the often debilitating duo of oil prices and the rand’s strength against the dollar; it can be a bit of a roller coaster.
Much has been said about the need to review government’s pricing structure; especially the heavy tax burden on South African fuel that makes it more expensive to fill up your car here rather than in Lesotho, eSwatini, Namibia or Botswana – who all get their fuel from us.
Government has started the process of deregulation, but the responsibility doesn’t just lie with it. Instead, we need the retail and the transport sectors to play their part too. They need to share the relief they get when the fuel price goes down ‒ as scrupulously as they share the pain ‒ with the rest of us too.
If they don’t, we are just going to go around in a vicious circle.