The South African government met to discuss what should be done in the wake of an anticipated petrol price hike on Wednesday.
Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana and Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe met during the weekend to discuss further intervention strategies.
“Everyone understands that this increase is a blunt instrument that will cut across food prices and that will raise the cost in the economy, and therefore something must be done,” Godongwana told Daily Maverick.
According to Daily Maverick, the fuel levy which was dropped for the first time in March to curb the rise in fuel costs as a result of the conflict in Ukraine is scheduled to return next week.
The petrol price is expected to increase by between R2.27 ($0.15) to R2.37 ($0.16) a litre on Wednesday (1 June 2022), which could see the price of a litre at R25 ($1.61).
Godongwana said a number of suggestions have been tabled. However, he also pointed out that a lot of other challenges that the country is facing have to be considered.
“People are going to say ‘put money into saving the cost of fuel’, they’re going to say ‘extend the grant’, they’re going to say ‘extend the expanded public works programme’, they’re going to say ‘take the Eskom debt’, they’re going to say ‘take the e-toll debt’,” he said.
“What is the problem with that, is I happen to be the only person who has got the focal point in all these exposures. People such as NGOs, look at the grant in isolation from all these exposures, and people who look at the fuel cost, look at the fuel cost in isolation from all these exposures,” he added.
The SA government introduced the temporary 40% reduction in the duty imposed on fuel for April and May, with the hopes that global energy prices would have stabilised by this time.
By Zintle Nkohla
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