The chairperson of parliament’s portfolio committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, Sahlulele Luzipo, has raised concerns around South Africa’s latest fuel price hike, which arrives on the back of an electricity tariff hike.
Luzipo said that the hikes in fuel and electricity will ‘undoubtedly have a negative socio-economic impact’ on the livelihood of many South Africans.
“These hikes are unimaginable, considering that they come at a time when the country is still reeling from the devastating socio-economic setbacks caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
He added that the hikes will negatively affect the poor and working-class who will have to bear the brunt of escalating prices of food and transport.
“The impact of these hikes will be unbearable in poor communities because most people rely on public transport to access health services, and often the taxi industry increases fares when there is a fuel price hike,” said Luzipo.
He made an appeal to all sectors of the economy, including mining, transport and sellers of fast-moving consumer goods not to increase prices, as that could only serve to put more burden on the working class and the poor.
Luzipo also advised employers not to resort to retrenching workers as a mechanism to absorb possible escalating operational costs.
He said that the parliamentary committee will be briefed on the Basic Fuel Price (BFP) by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy. The Automobile Association (AA) will also give a presentation.
The price of 95 (ULP and LRP) increased by R1 on Wednesday (7 April), while the price of 93 (ULP and LRP) climbed 95 cents a litre. A litre of 95 ULP in Gauteng, now costs R17.32 a litre.
Meanwhile, diesel (0.05% Sulphur) increased by 65.20 cents a litre, while the price of diesel (0.005% Sulphur) went up by 63.20 cents a litre.
Read: How much more middle-class South Africans will pay for electricity this month