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Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s announcement of a reduction by R1.50 per litre of the general fuel levy, albeit temporary, is good news, though we obviously wish it could be better.
From Wednesday until 31 May, the price of fuel will go down, an unusual occurrence in recent months where we’ve witnessed the price going only one direction: up.
Godongwana said the decrease would reduce the levy for petrol from R3.85 per litre to R2.35 per litre. The levy on diesel will be reduced from R3.70 per litre to R2.20 per litre.
In 2021-22, taxes accounted for on average 34% of the price of petrol and 38% of the cost of diesel – a ratio that is below that of India and Mexico, and far lower than the 60% that is common in Europe.
We are sure many motorists, and consumers in general, feel like Hendrik Pretorius who told Saturday Citizen the decrease came as a huge relief.
Pretorious says he travels 200km daily on average – at a cost of R450. That is R9,000 if we discount the weekends.
The R1.50 may look insignificant but it is better than nothing.
Hopefully, taxi and other transport service providers will take a two-month hiatus in their fare hikes – a direct result of the exorbitant fuel prices.
And this comes when Vladimir Putin’s senseless invasion of Ukraine keeps pushing up oil and gas prices.
Like Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) CEO Wayne Duvenage puts it: this is “going to bring about the necessary relief but will be a short-lived one, but we would have liked to have seen a greater temporary reduction of the fuel levy – closer to R3 per litre. The general fuel levy is at 20% of the total price”.
But for now, we’ll use the R1. 50/l we are going to save for other essentials.
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