Massive fuel price increase – yet another blow to battling consumers

Issued by Kevin Mileham MP and Dion George MP –
03 Oct 2023 in News

The recently announced fuel price increase by the Department of Energy, way above market expectations, is yet another reminder that the ANC government will not take urgent policy steps that would reduce the price of food with lower fuel prices.

The Minister of Energy – Gwede Mantashe and the Minister of Finance – Enoch Godongwana, have chosen to ignore a petition signed by 130 000 South Africans calling for the rationalisation of the fuel price in order to cushion consumers from the rising cost of living, more than a year after it was submitted. Households are battling to put food on their tables and government simply doesn’t care.

On 14 June 2022, the DA made submissions to Mantashe and Godongwana in which we called for a review of the fuel price framework and the corresponding tax system which inflated the fuel retail price and drove up the cost of living. The letter was co-signed by more than 130 000 South Africans, making it one of the highest subscribed petitions in the history of the DA.

The DA will not accept the refusal by Mantashe and Godongwana to acknowledge and act on the voices of 130 000 citizens who have raised alarm over the impact of the inflated fuel price on their ability to provide for their families. It is for this reason that we will soon be presenting this petition for fuel price rationalization directly to the Office of President Cyril Ramaphosa. His Ministers have shown an unwillingness to lead a process that will reform the country’s fuel price determination model and he must now step in initiate the reform process.

With this new round of fuel price hikes scheduled to take place at midnight today, the ANC has proven that it doesn’t care about the welfare of consumers who are now forced to choose between putting food on the table and spending a substantial amount of their income on transport, if they are lucky enough to have a job. Tomorrow morning, South Africans will be paying more than twice for fuel than they did 10 years ago in 2013.

That no action is being taken by the Department of Energy to start the reform process, reveals a dogged determination by Minister Gwede Mantashe to retain state control over the fuel value chain. While there is clear evidence that high fuel prices are damaging our economic growth prospects, pushing consumers to the brink, and exacerbating a high cost of living environment, the ANC has adopted an indifferent and cavalier attitude which simply confirms that they do not care about the welfare of consumers.

All South Africans need a viable economy to thrive, and the rising fuel cost is strangling our prospects. The DA cannot allow this and will continue to fight the ANC government to implement the changes our economy so desperately needs.

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