Consumers will have to brace for further food and transport price increases following Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s announcement of yet another fuel levy hike that will push the price of petrol up yet again.
Mboweni announced during his budget speech on Wednesday that the fuel levy will rise by 27 cents per litre, comprising 15 cents per litre for the general fuel levy and 11 cents per litre for the Road Accident Fund levy as well as 1 cent per litre for the carbon fuel levy. The levy will take effect at the fuel pumps on April 7.
Economist Mike Schussler said he had anticipated an even higher fuel levy increase.
“We expected a fuel levy increase above the rate of inflation of 30 cents per litre. It will be a bit inflationary because 7,4% is way above inflation and on top of the electricity price increases and oil prices going up, it is going hurt people a lot in South Africa. People need private transport either by taxi or private car and that will hurt,” Schussler said.
United Association of South Africa (UASA) spokesperson Abigail Moyo said the trade union was concerned about the fuel levy increase because of the impact it will have on citizens, specifically the unemployed and the poorest of the poor.
“The increase will translate into food price increases and the price of other basic necessities as suppliers pass these costs on directly to consumers. The plight of those who have little to no disposable income is further aggravated. UASA urges government to take into serious consideration the needs of citizens who can’t afford much as the cost of living continues to soar,” Moyo said.
AA spokesperson Layton Beard said the association had anticipated a fuel levy increase but nonetheless it was a “disappointing” move for motorists who were already facing a fuel price hike in March. Petrol will increase by 56 cents a litre, diesel by 47 cents and illuminating paraffin by 41 cents in addition to the levy.