petrol price

Diesel prices in South Africa shot up by R1.43 a litre from Wednesday – and early indications are that further pain awaits in December. Photo: Pixabay

Petrol price: DA fume as solution to fuel crisis “locked up in Saldanha Bay”

South Africa is totally dependent on foreign affairs to determine the petrol price each month. But, until very recently, that was never the case.

petrol price

Diesel prices in South Africa shot up by R1.43 a litre from Wednesday – and early indications are that further pain awaits in December. Photo: Pixabay

Our petrol price is rising again in October, adding to what has been a miserable year for motorists. Our only hope now is for Santa Claus to bring us a massive slash in costs before Christmas arrives. Or, according to the DA, we could do something about those 10 million barrels of oil just sat in Saldanha Bay.

Petrol is set to be hiked by a further 18-cents-per-litre, whereas diesel goes up even more. A 24-cent-per-litre increase will be implemented at the start of next month, based on current numbers. The increase brings the per-litre petrol price within 90 cents of its higher ever total. Completing the hat-trick is paraffin, which is also going up by 25 cents.

What happened to South Africa’s fuel reserves?

The South African Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) sold 10 million barrels of oil for the measly sum of $28 per barrel. At the time the international standard price for oil was closer to $40. To make the math equation a bit worse, oil sold was not surplus stock, no, this was South Africa’s oil reserves – the whole lot of it.

Then-Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, denied that there was a sale and that it was instead a ‘strategic rotation of oil resources’. Cue Jacob Zuma’s infamous cabinet reshuffle, leading Joemat-Pettersson to resign, and essentially precluding her from parliamentary liability. It was all one big “get rich quick” scheme.

No approval was sought from the boards of directors of both the CEF and the SFF. At the time, the decision to sell off our oil reserves was also done without notifying the Minister of Finance, as is required by law: The fuel reserves are being held in storage at Saldanha Bay and the CEF is refusing to release it to the buyers until the ongoing court case is concluded.

Petrol price fiasco highlights state capture lunacy

Kevin Mileham is the Shadow Energy Minister for the DA. He has been quick to remind us all that things could be a little different if we could just go and get our own damn barrels out of storage. However, with our domestic fuel industry now totally dependent on foreign activity – the control has slipped from our grasp:

“The reality is that until three years ago government, to a certain extent, had resources to mitigate and protect South Africans from shocks in the global oil industry but ridiculously decided to sell off 10 million barrels of the country’s strategic fuel reserve well below cost or market price in 2015. No new stock was purchased to replace it.”

“This means that South Africa does not have the reserves to cushion the impact of any potential global oil shortages or instability – including the recent attacks on Saudi oil fields. The continuous hikes will no doubt lead to pressures on small business and ultimately have serious consequences on job creation.”

Kevin Mileham
  • The petrol price will increase at 00:00 on Wednesday 2 October