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Solidarity on Tuesday sent letters to Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe and Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, about the dramatic increase in fuel prices South Africans are currently being burdened with.
Economics researcher at Solidairty Theuns du Buisson said currently, petrol is about 20c more expensive than diesel when it is imported at R9,37 per litre. However, at the retail level the price difference is often more than R2 per litre, with R16,66 being the lowest diesel price Solidarity could trace – a difference of R2,88 per litre.”
According to Solidarity, fuel lies at the heart of any economy, and therefore it is of the utmost importance that prices should be as low as possible, or at least not kept artificially high, to enable citizens to get to work, and to enable goods and services to find their way to citizens.
Buisson reiterated that the pandemic and years of sluggish economic growth are a reality while the cost of living is still rising. “One such cost is the price of fuel, which is currently at its highest level in South Africa’s history.”
According to the latest CPI figures from Statistics South Africa, fuel is currently 19,9% more expensive than it was a year ago in September 2020. Petrol price increased by R1 at the beginning of November, with a litre costing R19.50.
“It is our firm belief that the continuation of the above price regulation comes down to irrational and unfair conduct by the ministers. Should the ministers decide not to offer relief to citizens, legal action challenging it in court cannot be ruled out,” Du Buisson concluded.