News » Opinion » Columns
Richard Anthony Chemaly
Called it! Two months ago when the government very generously limited some fuel taxes and deprived itself of some of its theft budget. Leave it to the opposition to call a debate at the eleventh hour in Parliament. Leave it to the state to claim they’ve ticked a box and that we should be satisfied with their generosity. Leave it to South Africans to complain, perhaps throw a march or two and then fork up.
Two months, these jackasses had to come up with a plan post their puny tax relief and what did they come up with? Well there was this flag thing about unity and a couple of other distractions but even collectively, they’re going to do very little to cloak how expensive it’s going to be to get to work. For many, it may even start to seem like the cost of going to work outweighs the financial benefit of working. Thank goodness Sassa offices tend to be closer.
You’d think that the cream of the crop, when it comes to governance, would be occupying those spaces where good and tough decisions are made but wishes don’t come true and Santa only visits once a year. We’re left with some fools who, despite a whole town built on South Africa’s fuel capacity, can’t come up with a sustainable plan to overcome reliance on a foreign state.
The price of oil was higher than it is today back in 2008 and again in 2011. But back in 2011, you could get some sweet 95 octane for under R10 a litre. Sure there are other factors like the rand/dollar exchange and inflation but those are way more controllable than the price of oil so to blame the price of oil is an exercise in idiocy and an admission of long term failure.
ALSO READ: Petrol price horror: Fuel prices have doubled in five years
When that tax relief came two months ago, we knew it would only last two months. We were told it would only last two months. We were made to expect that it would only last two months… and what did we do? We enjoyed those two months with no consideration for the future. It is, after all, the South African way.
Keep things going as they are and if something goes wrong, we’ll find someone to blame who isn’t us. It’s the story of every SOE and anything linked to our inept leadership who loves to claim that they “provide leadership”. Whatever that means because I’m yet to see some convincing leadership in the last couple of years.
In two months, even Boris Johnson could buffoon his way into coming up with some sort of policy and Biden could have his speech writers make at least a passing mention of the issue. What has South Africa done? No seriously, what has South Africa done?
So in the next few days, months and years when you pay your taxi fare that’s escalated, when you can’t fill your car or when the cost of moving house is more expensive than buying a new house, you can take comfort in knowing this:
There are people who are paid more than enough to worry if petrol increases to 50 bucks a litre. They probably even have petrol allowances. You pay for those whenever you buy anything, including petrol. They are tasked with making sure that life in South Africa improves for all South Africans among other improvements to the country. They are effectively guaranteed income and increases even if they don’t do their jobs well. They are expected to do a great job. They are expected to be the best.
What is the best thing that they were able to come up with? Two months of discount that you’ll pay for over the next few months anyway.
‘It is going to hit drivers hard,’ says Ramaphosa on expected petrol price hike