The 50 cents per litre petrol hike due to go into effect today will have a negative impact on motorists, especially the poor, business owners say.
The department of energy has cautioned consumers about an increase in the price of fuel, which entails: 93 ULP and LRP – 50 cents a litre; 95 ULP and LRP – 48 cents a litre; diesel (0.05% sulphur) – 39 cents per litre; diesel (0.005% sulphur) – 37 cents per litre; the wholesale price of illuminating paraffin – 43 cents per litre; and the single maximum national retail price of illuminating paraffin – 58 cents per litre.
The increases are expected today and the department attributes these to a rise in international fuel prices and currency fluctuations. Buyani Zwane of Breakthrough Development said the increases would have a negative impact on the poor because transport costs and the price of bread and maize meal would rise.
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SA National Taxi Council spokesperson Thabisho Molelekwa said a national executive meeting would be called to discuss a possible increase in taxi fares. There might be an increase in taxi fares in some areas, he said, but it would not be immediate as the association was aware of consumers’ financial difficulties.
Areas where taxi fares went up last year would not be affected. Chris Machingura of Machingura Attorneys said an increase at this time of year was bad news. He believed the department should consider subsidising 40 cents per litre so consumers only had to pay an extra 10 cents per litre.
“A petrol hike of 50 cents per litre is too much at a time when children also need to go back to school,” he said.