South Africa needs to invest massive amounts of capital on the exploration of oil and gas if it has to find a sustained, viable mitigation factor against the volatile global fuel prices.

These views were expressed by analysts at the Future Energy Africa conference in Cape Town, ahead of Tuesday night’s massive fuel price increases across the board.

Retail fuel prices have gone up by nearly 25% since earlier this year. These record hikes are expected to hit both consumers and businesses hard.

And according to analysts, at this conference, government will not be able to mitigate the resultant hardship in the near to medium future.

The solution, according to analysts, lies on self-reliance.

CEO of South African Oil & Gas Alliance Niall Kramer says: “There is a lesson to be learned here that at some point we must be clearer about. We need to establish that in an uncontested way.”

Kramer says the current crisis of stagnant growth and the high rate of unemployment could provide an opportunity to invest in oil and gas exploration.

“We, because the economy has not been growing, our consumption has not been growing. The NDP issues around poverty, inequality and the creation of jobs.”

Government says a combination of the rand/dollar exchange rate, an increase in the prices of crude oil, and import prices of petroleum products led to tonight’s sharp fuel price increases.