South Africans could be paying more than R25 per litre for petrol from next week. This, as the government fuel tax relief of R1.50 per litre comes to an end plus a reported under-recovery of around R2.30.
But, the Democratic Alliance is calling on South Africans to resist the increase. The party says it amounts to a corruption tax because the money collected through the levy can be easily recovered by reducing corruption and wastage.
A multiplicity of circumstances has seen South Africans face steep increases in fuel prices in the recent past. These include the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, as well recent floods, that have devastated infrastructure in parts of the country.
While government had taken measures to ease the burden on consumers by forgoing part of the fuel levy, this is expected to end next month, resulting in record fuel prices.
DA leader John Steenhuisen says the timing is unfortunate, “Our citizens are battling a 46 percent unemployment rate, stage four rolling blackouts, which are affecting productivity, irrational COVID regulations, the floodings and droughts that are taking place in the country, the inflation Tsunami and also the food price inflation brought about by the war in Ukraine brought about by Russia’s invasion.”
At a media briefing in Cape Town, he called on South Africans to unite behind the party’s call and resist the increases, which, he says, are not inevitable.
“It’s time now for South Africans as a nation to stand together and to stand up and says enough is enough. We need to stand together to make clear we not going to rollover and accept the fuel price, this is not normal and we should not be accepting it, It should not become the status quo in SA.”
The party has proposed three main ways of avoiding the fuel price increases.
The first is the scrapping of the general fuel levy. In addition, the party wants government to exempt those who already pay for comprehensive third party insurance from the Road Accident Fund levy. They also propose that petrol price be deregulated to encourage competition. Steenhuisen says the general fuel levy amounts to a corruption tax.
“Road users are effectively reimbursing National Treasury for taxpayer funds lost to corruption and maladministration and wasteful expenditure. By cutting wasteful expenditure like reducing the size of cabinet and reducing the burden of R8bn per annum of VIP protection to ministers and members of the executive, the General Fuel Levy of R3.93 per litre can be scrapped entirely.”