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Petrol to impact on food prices

Middle and low income consumers will be the worst affected when all grades of petrol increase on 7 August.

The price of petrol will increase by 32 cents a litre and diesel will go up by 33 cents in Gauteng.

According to the Department of Energy, the price increase was due to the rise in the price of crude oil, among other factors.

Debt Rescue CEO Neil Roets said while high-income earners will be able to deal with the increase, it is the middle class and lower income earners who are going to be the worst affected.

“The majority of South Africans are barely managing to make ends meet. This increase in the fuel price is not only going to impact those South Africans with cars who are going to have to pay more at the pump, but everybody else who is going to be charged more for all goods and services,” he said.

Roets added almost all freight in this country was transported by road because of the inability of Transnet to provide a cost-effective rail transportation system.

Road transportation brings costs up, and would eventually impact on goods in supermarkets.

“While the increase in the price of fuel is going to hit everybody hard, it is going to push large numbers of newly-arrived middle class consumers back into poverty,” he added.

Roets said the additional debt that consumers are going to have to incur to make ends meet is going to add considerably to total consumer debt, now topping R1.44 trillion, according to Statistics South Africa.

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