Role players, Treasury to meet over fuel prices
ENERGY Minister Jeff Radebe believes a report next week on the fuel price increase will be able to mitigate future steep increases.
The Department of Energy and National Treasury will meet with the petroleum industry to look at measures to bring down fuel prices.
Radebe said yesterday oil prices were outside their control. The rand has been losing value for some time and the increase in fuel prices by oil producing countries was having a negative impact locally.
Radebe said they were also considering putting a maximum price on unleaded petrol. But these matters will be duscussed by the department with the petroleum industry next week.
One of the measures is to cap the price of fuel to cushion the poor, but more details will emerge later.
Radebe said they were concerned about the severe impact on the poor and how the government can introduce measures to mitigate the increases.
Radebe has linked the fuel price increases to the rand-dollar exchange rate, but said he hoped the currency will stabilise now that new Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is at National Treasury. The markets were already responding positively to Mboweni’s appointment, he said.
Radebe said the government was concerned about the rise in oil prices.
“The president asked the cluster to look at how to cushion the poor. Last week the department started the consultation process (on) what the impact will be to set a maximum price for 93 octane.
“We are deeply concerned, that is why we are looking at all options,” said Radebe.
The consultations they have, he said, will be able to point them in the right direction. Recently, President Cyril Ramaphosa visited Saudi Arabia on an investment drive where that country also promised to help build an oil refinery.
Saudi Arabia is a leading oil-producing country, and recently US President Donald Trump warned it about escalating prices and not increasing production. Saudi Arabia had committed to invest R140bn in South Africa and most of the investments will go into the energy sector.
Ramaphosa had also announced a task team to deal with the increase in petrol prices.