Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe told Parliament on Wednesday afternoon that his department’s work in researching the possibility of fixing a cap to the price of unleaded fuel would be concluded by January next year. It would report to Parliament on the matter then.
Radebe’s remarks come after record fuel price increases took place at a frequent rate over the past year. Even when government tried to introduce a freeze on the price of petrol recently, another aggressive increase followed.
Replying to a question from ANC MP Ndabakayise Gwbaza, Radebe said a significant challenge was that the price of fuel was determined by factors beyond government's control.
"We do not produce our own oil in South Africa. We import our oil and OPEC determines prices and this is beyond our control. This measure would go a long way and we are confident that before the end of January 2019, there will be a proposal on the table," Radebe said.
Inkatha Freedom Party Jan Esterhuizen asked the minister what legal steps would be necessary for the ceiling.
Radebe said the South African Petroleum Industry Association would assist the department in investigating the possibility of fixing a maximum price for unleaded fuel to cushion the country from escalating prices.
"The proposal ... will determine the legal steps that must be taken. That is why we are working with the [SA Petroleum Industry Association] and they are applying their mind to this and other aspects of introducing this," Radebe said.