The Democratic Alliance has accused the government of continuously increasing transport levies and the price of fuel to payoff the e-tolls and “feed its bloated” wage bill at the expense of the poor.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane, accompanied by Gauteng leader, John Moodey and party shadow transport minister Manny De Freitas, this morning engaged with commuters and operators at the Noord Taxi Rank.
“Our big concern is that these could be mitigated. Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC got together and instead of challenging their government by reducing the cabinet by ensuring that public sector wage bills are managed differently, they protected that constituency and hit the rest of South Africa,” Maimane said.
He said it was for this reason that his party had opposed the recent VAT increase.
“We think that the increase in fuel is not coincidental. It’s not just an exchange rate problem. When we opposed etolls, they took that tax and imposed it on our people,” he said.
He added that the increases would affected the poorest in the country.
“Just under 10 million South Africans can’t get work. If you get R410 child grant and feed your child, one in four children are dying mainly because of malnutrition. How do you expect those people on R410 to, in the first 1000 days of a child, feed that child,” he said.
His sentiments were echoed by De Freitas.
“The reality of all these increases are focused on creating a bloated government and not creating an environment where the man on the street can grow economically. These fuel levy increases go to paying off debt that came from a different source. The e-tolls, as an example, they thought the public would pay for it. It is incredibly payment happening. They need to make commitments on their loans, so we are paying for it through the back door,” he said.