Cape Times

Dysfunctio­nal fuel pricing affects the vulnerable the most


THE incessant increases in the price of fuel is always blamed on the weakening rand and an increase in crude oil prices.

In spite of falling crude oil prices over the past six years from $130 a barrel to more recently to $60, the price is spiralling with dire consequenc­es for the economy.

At $130 six years ago the overtaxed consumer fed up with never ending corruption was paying in the region of R12 a litre.

Fast forward to the future in 2017 consumers are paying over R14 a litre with the price of crude oil at the $60 a barrel.

The above scenario should indicate a reduction in the fuel price and not an increase.

There seems to be something inherently dysfunctio­nal with the pricing of the fuel in South Africa.

The same fuel that is purchased from SA by Lesotho and Swaziland is cheaper in these countries.

The price of fuel includes government levies and taxes amounting to 55% thereby lending itself to the astronomic­al prices paid by motorists.

The multiplier effect of this is that the poorest in our country suffer the most due to increases in commodity prices like daily essentials such as bread, maize meal, samp, rice, etc which are the staple food of millions of people.

The most vulnerable in our land are always at the receiving end when price increases are not comprehens­ively evaluated.

I think enough is enough.The consumer is being strategica­lly ripped off with no end in sight.

The price of petrol has increased by a whopping 71c with further increases looming on the horizon.

A case of economic consumer exploitati­on needs to be investigat­ed. An effective campaign needs to be initiated to involve community participat­ion in respect of an equitable pricing structure for fuel.

A protest similar to the #FeesMustFa­ll protest highlighti­ng the exorbitant cost of tertiary education needs to be canvassed to bring to the attention of government that as citizens of this country we can no longer afford these incessant and astronomic­al increases in the price of fuel and the people have come to the end of their tether.

The fundamenta­l question is: where is all this revenue generated from our taxes being utilised? How much is being pumped back into repairing the potholes on our roads?

In spite of paying the fuel levies and taxes, road users are still subjected to ever-increasing prices of the tolled roads which seem to be popping up at an increasing rate.

Could this money milked from the overtaxed motorists being used to pay off the debtors of the almost 20 billion e-tolls which is generating little income and not sustainabl­e.

Could it be used to bail out SAA or maybe Eskom or maybe the other state-owned entities that is being looted with impunity by the Duduzanes and Guptas.

Maybe if consumers rise up against exorbitant fuel price increases, there will be a reprieve and who knows, depending on the intensity of this mass action, the next president at the end of his term may want to leave a legacy and just announce free fuel for all consumers for a period of two or maybe three years.

How this will be financed is anybody’s guess. But the rule is to announce “Free Petrol” and hope for the best…

At this time I’m reminded of the words of singer Mr Armstrong when he sang: And I say to myself what a wonderful world. Vijay Surujpal Phoenix

 ??  ?? BURNING ISSUE: The price of fuel is spiralling, with dire consequenc­es for the economy.
BURNING ISSUE: The price of fuel is spiralling, with dire consequenc­es for the economy.

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