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More misery for motorists as fuel prices reach record highs

Petrol and diesel costs go up on Wednesday

Petrol and diesel prices see sharp increases on Wednesday. File photo.
Petrol and diesel prices see sharp increases on Wednesday. File photo.
Image: Supplied

Civil society, opposition parties and unions have criticised the government’s slow pace in arresting the rise in fuel  prices, which has placed immense pressure on consumers and hampered economic growth.

On Wednesday, the price of 93 octane petrol will rise by R2.37/l and 95 octane by R2.57/l.

Diesel will surge by about R2.30/l.

This makes the new retail price for a litre of 93 octane petrol R26.31 and 95 octane will cost R26.74 inland, while the inland wholesale price of 500 ppm diesel will be R25.40 and 50 ppm diesel will cost R25.53.

The prices are nearly R10/l more than a year ago.

The mineral resources and energy department attributed the hikes to the rise in international oil prices over the past month.

Civil organisation Outa (Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse) said it was disappointed that the government had failed to continue in its effort to protect the public from the rising cost of fuel.

“We note that government has not heeded the call for a continuation of the fuel levy reprieve at the full value of R1.50 per litre. Clearly the tax revenue shortfalls have negated government’s ability to continue with the relaxation in the fuel levy.

“We are now paying the high price of weak economic policy that has given rise to the South African currency punching well below its potential, combined with high taxes and levies applied to petrol,” said Outa CEO Wayne Duvenage.

In May the government announced an extension of the temporary reduction of the fuel levy by R1.50/l for petrol and diesel until July 5, and thereafter adjusting the relief to 75c/l from July 6. The temporary relief ends on August 3.

Martlé Keyter, CEO of the Motor Industry Staff Association, said the government has shown no urgency to review fuel pricing methodology.

“To make matters worse, Eskom is plunging the country into unprecedented stages of blackouts, costing the crippled economy billions. The fuel price and Eskom combined has a devastating impact on every South African. We are bound to see inflation rising. Inflation was recorded at 6.5% in May 2022, up from 5.9% in April 2022,” said Keyter.

The FF Plus said the government should simply abolish the fuel levy.

“SA's energy crisis is turning into an economic disaster. At present, South Africans are dependent on electricity, which is not available, and liquid fuel, which is not affordable, for survival.

“In addition, the households and businesses that increasingly rely on liquid fuel to meet their energy demands are also expected to pay fuel levies that are actually imposed specifically for road users,” said FF Plus spokesperson Dr Wynand Boshoff. 

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