Cost of living is spiraling out of control under Ramaphosa’s ANC government
The cost of living for ordinary South Africans has spiraled out of control under President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC national government. With a 1 percentage point Value Added Tax (VAT) increase, an Income Tax increase, “Sin tax” increase, sugar tax increase and an increase in RAF and General Fuel Levy – a full-blown financial war is being waged against poor, working and middle-class South Africans by the ANC. South Africans are getting poorer in order to pay for the ANC’s mismanagement of our country and its economy.
Following several steep increases, petrol now stands at over R16 per litre, with 33% - or R5.30 per litre – going straight to government via taxes and levies. This is both unfair and unsustainable. I have therefore today written to President Cyril Ramaphosa, setting out immediate solutions to alleviate the stranglehold this government has placed on ordinary South Africans – particularly the poor and jobless.
Amongst other solutions, we propose reducing the RAF and general fuel levies by 20% which will enable the price of petrol to be pushed down to below R15 per litre and provide immediate relief. Similarly, one month ago I wrote to the Speaker in terms of Rule 130(1) of the Rules of the National Assembly, to request an urgent debate to consider the current structure and composition of RAF and General Fuel Levies, and this can be altered to relieve ordinary South Africans from this financial strain. I am yet to receive a reply from the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete.
The Minister of Finance is empowered to introduce an Adjusted Budget at anytime of the year. There is absolutely nothing in law stopping the Minister from doing this immediately.
To blame the ever increasing cost of petrol on ‘international markets’ is a spineless analysis of the problem. The fact that one third of the petrol price or R5.30 is tax which is pushed straight into government coffers simply has to change.
While President Ramaphosa announced last week that his administration will be communicating a set of economic measures by the end of next week to shield the public from fuel price hikes and VAT increase, we urge him to support our call for Parliament to urgently debate this matter in order to seek non-partisan, lasting solutions to this impending crisis.
The poor and jobless will always be at the front and centre of the DA’s agenda where we govern to alleviate the burden on the fuel hike. DA governments have already been acting to help combat the financial war waged on the poor by the ANC government, like the free bus rides that continue to be offered for jobseekers in the City of Cape Town and the City of Tshwane.
South Africans have been made to pay for the ANC’s mismanagement of the economy for too long. VAT and petrol price increases means that ordinary people are increasingly unable to put food on the table and it has now become that much harder to pay for transport to look for work.
The President must act now to alleviate his government’s stranglehold on the poor and jobless because the people of South Africa simply cannot afford the cost of life under the ANC government.
Statement issued by Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the Democratic Alliance, 9 July 2018