More and more South Africans are feeling the strain of not being able to make their money stretch. This has resulted in trade union Cosatu approaching National Government to consider the introduction of a fuel price cap to assist struggling consumers.
The trade union announced that it has welcomed the petrol price drop for the month of March, which was officially instated on Wednesday, March 4, but has warned motorists to beware of the 25cents increase in fuel taxes as of April 1.
“Only a further reduction and a steady drop can give some respite to lower-income earners and poor households, in particular, because they are struggling to survive under these difficult economic conditions,” it said. “Hopefully, this reduction will continue because workers are spending too much money travelling to work and they are sliding deeper and deeper int debt because of declining wages.”
According to Cosatu, the extra decrease in the price of fuel may be able to allow South Africans to spend more money on other things. This may then result in a boost in the country’s economy.
The proposal of a fuel price cap was first brought forward in 2018, but was dismissed by former Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe.
In 2019, a spokesperson told BusinessTech that the department had finished one-on-one engagements with relevant stakeholders, and was still waiting for written submissions on the matter.
“The fuel cap is still on the cards,” the spokesperson said at the time. “The draft report is being discussed internally at the moment. The department will issue a media statement once the internal consultation is concluded.”
Cosatu added it is still waiting on the government to release the research report.
“We are also calling on our government to consider increasing subsidies for public transport and improve the quality and efficiency of our public transport system, particularly in poorer communities and rural areas,” it said to BusinessTech.