Marizka Coetzer
Journalist
3 minute read
2 Jun 2022
5:42 am

Small businesses struggle to cope as fuel prices continue to rise

Marizka Coetzer

Gold Leaf Garden Service owner Waldo Sealey said he will have to lay off staff after yesterday’s fuel price hike.

Motorists queue to fill up their vehicles, 31 May 2022, at a petrol station in Fairlands. The R2.43/l petrol price hike for 93 octane on Wednesday will see the Gauteng price increasing to R23.94/l. Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has announced an extension of the temporary reduction in the general fuel levy (R1.50 c/l) until July 5, 2022, with effect from June 1, 2022. Picture: Michel Bega

Entrepreneurs and small business owners are thinking of laying off staff or closing their businesses as petrol prices continue to rise. Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) chair Dr Nombeko Mbava said smaller businesses were generally more vulnerable to periods of lower consumer spending. “To maintain their profit margins they will have to either increase productivity, reduce their operational costs or increase the prices of the services offered,” she said. Mbava said reducing costs could result in letting workers go, adding to unemployment. “Costs can shift to consumers which puts greater pressure on consumer budgets and reduces purchasing power and living...