DA, OUTA call on South Africans to join mass fuel protest

The DA has called for a 20% reduction in the fuel levy and announced that it would take to the streets of Pretoria next week to deliver a memorandum to Treasury.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Tuesday that recent continuous fuel price increases were bringing ordinary South Africans to their knees.

Maimane and Ben Theron of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) called on South Africans to join the march in Pretoria on July 31.

Read: Maimane to announce action against petrol price hikes

He added that life was becoming harder for South Africans and that the increase in fuel levies was not sustainable.

"[The year] 2018 will be remembered as the year in which the ANC government declared war on poor South Africans through relentless tax increases," he said.

The increase in fuel levies, meant for the Road Accident Fund (RAF), could not be justified because the fund has been plagued by continued mismanagement, he added.

"Government must also know that they cannot continue to blame these fuel price increases on 'international markets' as 33% of our fuel price is made up of two levies: the general fuel levy and the Road Accident Fund levy," he said.

"When you factor in the staggering mismanagement and corruption at the RAF, these exorbitant levies simply cannot be justified." 

Read more: 9 drivers arrested at KZN protest over fuel price increase

Maimane called for a 20% reduction in the fuel levy and asked for the tabling of an urgent debate in Parliament to consider the structure of the RAF, the independent and external administration of the RAF, and the starting of a process aimed at dealing with a R160bn backlog in unpaid claims.

"We cannot afford to delay these interventions. People are already struggling to survive, and it will only get worse unless we immediately bring the petrol price below R15 per litre," he said.

Theron added: "The cost of living [is] killing South Africans."

He said now was the time for civil society to stand up and make a change in the country.

"The rot" in government departments must be "stopped decisively" to make living more affordable for the average South African, Theron added.

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