Punch-drunk mo­torists queue up at pumps

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - ZO BUSINESS - Tam­lyn Jolly

ZU­L­U­LAND petrol sta­tions were hives of ac­tiv­ity on Tues­day evening as mo­torists joined the queues to fill up ahead of the big­gest fuel price hike in his­tory.

Ow­ing to a weak­en­ing of the South African Rand and an in­crease in the prices of crude oil, South African mo­torists are now pay­ing R1/litre more for petrol, R1.24/litre more for diesel, and il­lu­mi­nat­ing paraf­fin users are pay­ing R1.04 more per litre.

‘This fuel price in­crease is hor­ren­dous,’ said one mo­torist await­ing his turn at a sta­tion in Meerensee.

‘I don’t think this is go­ing to be the last in­crease, and if prices just keep go­ing up and our salaries stay the same, things are go­ing to be­come a lot more dif­fi­cult.’

In the wake of last week’s fuel in­crease an­nounce­ment, the IFP re­it­er­ated its call on gov­ern­ment to sus­pend fuel levies of R5.30.

IFP na­tional spokesper­son, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, said the levies should be sus­pended un­til the econ­omy has shown pos­i­tive growth.

‘We can af­ford to sus­pend the R5.30 fuel levy to ease the bur­den on com­muters, mo­torists, in­dus­tries, small busi­nesses and job seek­ers,’ he said.

He said the party last month wrote to Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa, ask­ing him to take de­ci­sive ac­tion ‘in a time when mil­lions of South Africans are suf­fer­ing as the fuel in­creases have be­come un­bear­able on the pocket’.

‘Our econ­omy is not grow­ing, unem­ploy­ment is ris­ing, taxes have in­creased across the board and salaries have not in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly to make up for the now 10th in­crease in the fuel price.’

He said the party is yet to re­ceive a re­sponse from the pres­i­dent.

The Or­gan­i­sa­tion Un­do­ing Tax Abuse (OUTA) said the cur­rent high fuel prices will have a di­rect im­pact on the cost of liv­ing and in­fla­tion, ow­ing to the re­liance on road trans­port, as op­posed to rail, to move goods.

It said the gov­ern­ment must im­prove in­vestor con­fi­dence, fac­tor in a de­crease in the fuel levy and Road Ac­ci­dent Fund in up­com­ing bud­gets, and de­velop a pe­tro­leum sup­ply master plan.

Zu­l­u­land mo­torists set­tled in for the long haul on Tues­day as they joined queues at the pumps

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