Parliament welcomes Ramaphosa’s plans

President Cyril Ramaphosa. EWN

Parliament’s select committee on economic and business development has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that government is seeking to soften the blow following fuel increases.

Ramaphosa will announce economic measures in the coming weeks, to help South Africans deal with rising fuel prices and the recent value-added tax increase.

Committee chairperson Mandla Rayi explains: “We appreciate and commend him for his quick response on the establishment of the panel, to look at how to ease the effect of these hikes.”

The price of a litre of petrol has more than doubled over the past decade and, as always, the pain is being felt the hardest by ordinary South Africans.

Fuel prices have gone up again; 93 octane will cost 26 cents more, while 95 is going up by 23 cents per litre. Motorists will also have to fork out up to 26 cents more for diesel, while illuminating paraffin is going up between 22 and 30 cents.

Many South Africans are struggling to make ends meet, as this woman explains: “As low-income people, we are unable to cope because there’s no increase in my salary.”

This man says he is tired of the increases. “I don’t really know who to blame for the whole thing. I’m getting tired of it.”

On Wednesday, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said there was very little government can do to stem fuel price increases. At the same time, the African National Congress requested an increase in petrol reserves freezing or decreasing the fuel levy.

Meanwhile, EFF leader Julius Malema on Friday blamed Ramaphosa for the continued rise in petrol prices and said it was sign that he doesn’t care about the poor.

“By raising petrol prices after all other taxes on individuals, the Ramaphosa government is doing everything to milk the poor of their last cents. We call on the people of South Africa to reject Ramaphosa and the ANC by voting them out of power in 2019.”