One Movement SA – and ex-leader of the official opposition – Mmusi Maimane called for the South African government to halt fuel price increases and suspend the associated levies for as long as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues.
MAIMANE ON FUEL INCREASES
This comes after the petrol price hit R21 per litre last week and because of the conflict several “worst-case scenarios” have made the headlines over fears that the fighting could cause a steep rise in the price of Brent crude oil, which would have a direct impact on how much it costs to fill a tank across the world.
“R40 per litre” is the possible price being touted at the moment, after UNISA academic Andre Thomashausen spoke to IOL – in an article published on 27 February.
Three days after the Russian invasion, Thomashausen told the publication that South Africans could bank accounts could be walloped if the conflict escalated.
“In as much as energy prices in the EU would jump up, international energy prices would follow.
“In a worst-case scenario, South Africa could expect liquid fuel prices to increase to about R40 per litre,” said Thomashausen.
He also said electricity prices could increase by 40 percent because Eskom depends on imported diesel for some of its production.
On Saturday, 5 March, Maimane said South Africa needs interventions to protect South Africans from spikes in the price of fuel. “We cannot afford another fuel increase at this point.”
“Suspend fuel levies until the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is resolved. South Africans cannot afford any fuel increases at this point,” he said on Saturday.
“There must be zero fuel increases during this conflict. Suspend the levies and protect South Africans from inflation,” he furthered on Sunday, 6 March.
In his budget speech, in February, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said the government would not be increasing the General Fuel Levy (GFL) and Road Accident Fund (RAF) levy for the current financial year.
He said the move would provide tax relief of R3,5 billion to South Africans.
Godongwana said he was in talks with Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe to review the fuel price and its structure.
The Organisation for Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) said combined fuel levies have increased by 126 percent over the last decade.