President Cyril Ramaphosa has acknowledged that the pending rising cost of petrol will impact the pockets of South Africans hard, with the temporary reduction of the general fuel levy set to end this month.
For the month of June, the price of petrol is expected to increase by R1.93, while diesel will go up by R1.60.
The increases will push petrol prices to above R24 per litre in Gauteng and diesel to more than R25 per litre.
Speaking to the media in Carolina, Mpumalanga, on his Presidential Imbizo tour, Ramaphosa noted that motorists were going to have to fork more money to pay for petrol amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has affected fuel prices globally.
“Petrol increase is as a result of petrol rises globally, many countries are suffering the same effect. So, in our case, we took an initiative which is going to come to an end, the end of this month and unfortunately, it is going to hit drivers and car owners quite hard,” he said.
The temporary relief, which saw the country’s fuel levy for petrol going down from R3.85 per litre to R2.35 per litre, is set to end on 31 May.
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe told Fin24 on Thursday that the levy reduction would not be extended beyond May, although he did indicate that his department still needed to consult with National Treasury on the matter.
“We have to meet Treasury to [see] if there can be anything more that we can do,” Mantashe said.
Government previously indicated that it plans to take further steps to ease the burden on motorists in the future by deregulating the price of petrol.
The deregulation plans will only occur once the Treasury figures out how to recover the R90 billion loss from the fiscus it would see if fuel taxes are removed in one go.
Godongwana previously indicated there were many options on the table to achieve this, such as additional taxes on motor licence renewal fees to fund the Road Accident Fund (RAF).
There have been talks of the RAF levy being scrapped from the fuel levy and moving elsewhere, which has been backed by Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy.