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DA presents bill to deregulate fuel price

DA says it has handed in its fuel price deregulation bill to Parliament.Image: Supplied

DA says it has handed in its fuel price deregulation bill to Parliament.Image: Supplied

Published Jul 5, 2022

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Siyabonga Sithole

As South African motorists rush to the fuel pumps before the fuel price increase tonight, the DA says it has handed in its fuel price deregulation bill to Parliament.

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The country's leading opposition party says its bill, which has been handed to Parliament's legal services for processing, is a groundbreaking initiative that seeks to amend the Petroleum Products Act while giving Parliament the power to prescribe the price of petroleum products.

The party's mineral resources and energy spokesperson, Kevin Mileham, says the DA intends to publish its notice of intention to introduce the bill in the Government Gazette later this week, after which, the public will be invited to provide input.

Mileham blames the ruling party for the high fuel prices, saying the failure and success of fuel price regulation lies with the ANC, the majority party in Parliament.

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"Given that South Africans will wake up to another hefty fuel price increase that will take the fuel well beyond R25 a litre on Wednesday, the primary objective of the bill is to deregulate the fuel sector to increase competition in fuel price setting at both wholesale and retail level, which will result in lower prices for consumers as retailers compete to win customers based on price levels."

On Monday, the department of mineral resources and energy announced its fuel price adjustments. The price of 95 ULP went up by R2.57, to R26.74, and 93 ULP petrol by 2.37, to R26.31. The price of diesel increased by R2.30 and illuminated paraffin by R1.66. All the increases have been recorded as one of the highest increases this year.

The DA says the high cost of fuel has made it difficult for citizens to afford basic necessities as they spend a significant portion of their salaries servicing ever-increasing cost of transport and food items.

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The party says the increases are a consequence of government-controlled fuel price controls which have killed competition and cost-reflective prices.

"This tragedy of higher fuel prices is that their knock-on effects will hit the poorest the hardest at a time when they are already struggling under the consequence of 46% unemployment, load shedding, soaring global inflation driven by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and a state increasingly unable to deliver the most basic mandate."

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