Faizel Patel
Senior Digital Journalist
2 minute read
2 Jun 2022
12:48 pm

Solidarity considering taking government to court over high petrol prices

Faizel Patel

According to Solidarity, the government is still playing a significant role in the recent record increase in fuel prices

Motorists queue to fill up their vehicles, 31 May 2022, at a petrol station in Northcliff. 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

Following the massive increase in the price of petrol, trade union Solidarity has announced its legal team is investigating various legal routes in order to combat rising fuel prices.

On Wednesday the the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) announced that the price of petrol would increase between R2.43 and R2.33 per litre, while the prices of diesel were hiked by R1.10 and R1.07 per litre.

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Government also announced the temporary reduction in the general fuel levy would be extended.

According to Solidarity, the government and especially Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe are still playing a significant role in the recent record increase in fuel prices.

Theuns du Buisson, economic researcher at the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI) argues that the temporary relief in the form of an extension of the rebate on the fuel levy recently announced by Mantashe will be insufficient, short-sighted, and even harmful in the long run.

“The temporary relief proposed by the Minister is a short-term solution which has extremely detrimental consequences for the fiscus in the long term. Moreover, it does not address the structural problems in South Africa’s fuel market. Sustainable relief lies in breaking the government’s stranglehold on the fuel value chain without putting even more pressure on the state coffers that are shaky as it is.”

Du Buisson said despite undertakings given in Parliament and in the media to deregulate the department has not kept its word.

‘We now have to turn to the courts for solutions to persuade the government to take action.”

Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has announced that it will engage in consultations with key stakeholders to ponder on a national shutdown against the fuel price hike

According to the red berets, the shutdown will hold until the government makes an intervention in lowering the price of fuel.

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