SACP general secretary Solly Mapaila says South Africa must urgently find ways to buy oil directly from Venezuela and Russia at discounted prices.
Mapaila was addressing the SACP’s Red October Campaign 2023 launch on Sunday in Phuthaditjhaba.
He said that demonstrably exploring alternative oil and fuel supply sources can go a long way in helping our nation to reduce imported oil and fuel price increases and bring down the ever-rising cost of living, which is a crisis affecting millions of South Africans. Mapaila was addressing a rally under the campaign’s theme, “Put people first, fight the cost-of-living crisis”.
The SACP will hold its central committee plenary from Friday to Sunday to strengthen its efforts on these matters, among others. SACP national office-bearers led by Mapaila will on Sunday, October 8 at 1pm hold a press briefing at Cosatu House in Braamfontein to communicate the key outcomes from the plenary of the party’s highest decision-making body in between its national congresses.
The international average Brent Crude oil price recently increased by $7.08 from $84.78 to $91.86. International average petrol, diesel, illuminating paraffin and liquefied petroleum gas prices also increased.
Mapaila said the Reserve Bank hiked interest rates 10 times since November 2021, adding 475 basis points to the repurchase rate, which now stands at 8.25%. “But this is the rate at which the Reserve Bank lends to commercial banks.”
“The commercial banks, which also lend depositors’ funds, charge most people the prime interest rate plus on home, vehicle, other household and personal loans. Now the prime lending rate stands at 11.75%,” he said.
“Interest rates are part of the rising cost-of-living drivers. The Reserve Bank has forced millions of families to redirect increased household spending towards interest rates, away from essential needs. Every time the Reserve Bank increased interest rates, it automatically increased household debt without those affected taking additional loans,” added Mapaila.
Mapaila said the commercial banking oligopolies, which serve as the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy transmission structure, force the majority of families to repay a single home loan with an amount that can buy at least two homes.
“These financial parasites charge prime plus compound interest rate, sentencing their financially exploited victims to 20 years or more in debt repayment,” said Mapaila.