Calls mount for price of fuel to be reduced

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The National Treasury has 14 days from Tuesday to respond to a memorandum and demands that the petrol price be reduced by one rand.

About 200 people gathered at Church Square, outside the Treasury in Pretoria, under the banner of the Freedom Movement.

Several political parties, civil organisations and religious organisations joined the call for a drop in the fuel price. The Congress of the People, African Christian Democratic Party, the Freedom Front Plus, the Democratic Alliance and the Organisation for the Undoing of Tax Abuse have united in their call for a drop in the fuel price.

They say if government does not listen to their demands, they will feel the results at the voting booths during 2019’s election.

“We are begging you for a R1 reduction on the fuel levy. Go and fetch our money in Dubai that was stolen out of Eskom, out of Transnet, out of Prasa. All those state organisations, a R100 billion was stolen. Go fetch it in Dubai and subsidise the fuel levy as it is today,” says Outa’s Ben Theron.

Religious Organisations, represented by Pastor Harry Carelse asked the Finance Minister to consider the poor before allowing another fuel price increase.

“Before you take decisions to increase the petrol price, we ask you today and we implore you today, on behalf of every citizen of this country that you decrease the petrol price. We want to implore you also to think of the child in the squatter camp; to think of the unemployed; to think of the poorest of the poor. We want to implore you right there in your offices think of everyone affected by your decisions taken.”

DA leader Mmusi Maimane and the leader of the Freedom Movement say they are not, in principle, against the fuel levy. However, they are against it being used for a bankrupt Road Accident Fund and to support a bloated government.

“I am here to come to Treasury, with all the leaders that are here. Treasury every year tables a budget. In that budget, R5.33 is the money that Treasury puts on top of the fuel the citizens must pay. I would accept it if that money went into improving roads; went into actually doing the job that helps people, but no. That money goes to a bankrupt Road Accident Fund. It goes to a bloated cabinet,” says Maimane.

He said government must stop milking South Africans, who have had enough.

A memorandum was handed over to a representative of the National Treasury. In it, the protestors are demanding a reduction in the fuel price and that the Road Accident Fund be placed under administration and that Parliament debate the new Road Accident Benefit Scheme, which is set to replace the Road Accident Fund.

They have given Treasury 14 days to respond.

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