Astronomical increases in the price of fuel

2017-12-28 06:00

THE incessant increases in the price of fuel are always blamed on the weakening rand and an increase in crude oil prices.

In spite of falling crude oil prices over the past six years from $130 a barrel to more recently to $60, the price is spiralling with dire consequences for the economy.

At $130 six years ago, the overtaxed consumer fed up with never ending corruption was paying in the region of R12 a litre.

Fast-forward to the future in 2017, consumers are paying over R14 a litre with the price of crude oil at the $60 a barrel.

The above scenario should indicate a reduction in the fuel price and not an increase.

There seems to be something inherently dysfunctional with the pricing of the fuel in SA.

The same fuel that is purchased from South Africa by Lesotho and Swaziland is cheaper in these countries.

The price of fuel includes government levies and taxes amounting to 55% thereby lending itself to the astronomical­ prices paid by motorists.

The multiplier effect of this is that the poorest in our country suffer the most due to increases in commodity prices like daily essentials such as bread, maize meal, samp, rice, etc which are the staple food of millions of people.

Enough is enough. The consumer is being strategically ripped off with no end in sight.

The price of petrol has increased by a whopping 71 cents with further increases looming on the horizon.

A case of economic consumer exploitation needs to be investigated.

An effective campaign needs to be initiated to involve community participation in respect of an equitable pricing structure for fuel.

A protest similar to the #Fees MustFall protest highlighting the exorbitant cost of tertiary education needs to be canvassed to bring to the attention of government that as citizens of this country we can no longer afford these incessant and astronomical increases in the price of fuel and the people have come to the end of their tither.

The fundamental question is, where is all this revenue generated from our taxes being utilised?

How much is being pumped back into repairing the potholes on our roads? In spite of paying the fuel levies and taxes, road users are still subjected to ever increasing prices of the tolled roads, which seems to be popping up at an alarming rate.

Could this money milked from the overtaxed motorists be used to pay off the debtors of the almost 20 billion e-tolls, which is generating little income and not sustainable? Could it be used to bail out SAA or maybe Eskom or maybe the other state-owned entities that is being looted with impunity by the Duduzanes and Guptas?

Maybe if consumers rise up against exorbitant fuel price increases, there will be a reprieve and who knows, depending on the intensity of this mass action, the next president at the end of his term may want to leave a legacy and just announce free fuel for all consumers for a period of two or maybe three years.

How this is going to be financed is anybody’s guess.


VIJAY SURUJPAL

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