Punch-drunk motorists queue up at pumps
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