Fuel price: Radebe confirms government still has no plan
21 August 2018
Today at a meeting of the Energy Portfolio Committee in Parliament, Minister Jeff Radebe offered no plan to reduce the high cost of petrol.
This was a slight improvement on last week when the Minister and his officials didn’t even turn up for the meeting.
However, the outcome of both meetings was essentially the same: we are no closer to knowing what government is planning to do about the high fuel price.
It is true that there is no quick fix to curb the high cost of petrol. High oil prices set by OPEC are out of our control. And the rand-dollar exchange rate is determined, to an extent, by exogenous factors.
What is in government’s control is the exorbitant fuel levy that accounts for R5,30 of the R16,03 that consumers pay for every litre of petrol. Of course, any cut to the general fuel levy will incur a cost to the fiscus and careful thought needs to be given to the financial impact of a cut.
However, Energy Department officials said today that the fuel levy is not part of the remit of the fuel price technical team set up by Treasury and the Department of Energy. And so we are left wondering exactly what they are discussing, and whether there is any real commitment to reduce the price of petrol.
Minister Radebe has promised to report back on his plan to reduce the fuel price by the end of September. Every South African affected by escalating living costs is waiting to hear the details.
Issued by Gavin Davis, DA Shadow Minister of Energy, 21 August 2018