Rising fuel prices a testament to ANC's misguided policy – Dion George

DA MP says it is clear that the ANC administration has failed to adequately address cost-of-living crisis and protect its citizens

Rising fuel prices are a testament to ANC's misguided economic policy

2 August 2023

The ANC government's centrally controlled fuel pricing policy has, yet again, dealt another blow to already battling South African citizens. The exorbitant rise in fuel prices, announced earlier this week and effective from today, represents an exploitative and untenable burden on South African consumers.

The timing of this sharp increase, with petrol grades rising by 37 cents per litre and diesel escalating by between 71 cents, could not be worse. With unemployment having reached a staggering 42%, the constant threat of power cuts, a weakening Rand, and crumbling service delivery, the ANC government’s refusal to review the fuel pricing model and alleviate the burden of the fuel levy adds to the unrelenting pressure on households.

South Africa, under the ANC, has seen a massive surge in fuel taxes. The cumulative 225% rise in the fuel levy, a 119% increment in the basic fuel price, and a significant 425% hike in the Road Accident Fund levy since 2008 is indicative of Government's apathy towards the well-being of its people. Low-income and vulnerable segments of the population bear the brunt of these increases, while the privileged ANC ministers enjoy taxpayer-funded perks and privileges, exempt from the economic hardships facing the average citizen.

South African households are being squeezed from all sides - unable to afford basic transport or sufficient food due to these increases and the consequent rise in food prices. In this government-induced crisis, it is clear that the ANC administration has failed to adequately address the cost-of-living crisis and protect its citizens.

The DA remains resolute in its commitment to advocate for South African families. We demand a complete review of the current fuel pricing model, the scrapping of the fuel levy, deregulation the fuel price, and replacement of the bankrupt and mismanaged Road Accident Fund levy

In our October 2023 Alternative MTBPS, we will outline a comprehensive plan to cut wasteful expenditure and grow the economy through implementing the DA's economic policy framework, which focuses on creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, promoting job creation, and supporting small businesses. By doing so, we can make up for the revenue lost by cutting fuel levies.

In light of this, we also urge Government to consider international best practices for managing fuel prices. Notably, considering the US as a supplier for oil, where prices per barrel are markedly lower, will offer a significant reduction in fuel costs locally.

The DA rejects the notion that already overtaxed South Africans should shoulder the economic burden created by Government's own policies. We stand firm in our commitment to promote sensible economic policies that ensure the well-being of all South Africans.

Issued by Dion George, DA Shadow Minister of Finance, 2 August 2023