Fuel price increase – Ramaphosa’s SONA must provide relief to struggling consumers

Issued by Kevin Mileham MP – DA Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy
07 Feb 2024 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Kevin Mileham MP

President Cyril Ramaphosa must use his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday, 8 February 2024, to outline practical steps that his government will be taking to cushion consumers from the constantly rising cost of living, especially the cost of fuel.

This follows an announcement made by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy that the prices for both petrol and diesel will increase by 75c and 73c per litre respectively. With consumers already struggling to make ends meet due to escalating cost pressures from food, electricity, and transport, the fuel price increase will be devastating for many.

The DA has consistently called for a comprehensive review of the fuel price determination model, with particular emphasis on fuel taxes and levies, to bring it in line with international best practices. In the prevailing dispensation, South African consumers are being forced to pay more for fuel because the ANC government has become addicted to the extortionist tax revenue that it generates from fuel sales.

Ramaphosa should, just this once, show leadership and use his SONA address to provide urgent relief to struggling consumers. The ANC government has spent the past 5 years evading the subject of unsustainable fuel taxes and levies, despite clear evidence these added surcharges on fuel were choking the economy and making life difficult for consumers.

Last year, Gwede Mantashe and the Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana, ignored a petition signed by more than130 000 South Africans calling for the rationalisation of the fuel price in order to cushion consumers from the rising cost of living. It was yet another confirmation that the ANC government does not care and is simply out of touch with the plight of consumers.

In his SONA address, Ramaphosa must clearly outline how his government will review the fuel price framework and the corresponding tax system which have inflated the fuel retail price and driven up the cost of living. Anything short of this is further proof that the ANC is no longer fit to govern, and that they must be voted out in the forthcoming general elections.

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