Fuel prices are expected to drop by around R1, 50 as a result of the stronger rand and lower crude oil price.
The Department of Energy has indicated that this benefit will be passed on to motorists which will come as a welcome relief. Does this mean it’s time to take out the bubbly and celebrate?
Fuel prices have almost trebled in the past decade and a R1, 50 decrease will still keep costs at its highest in recorded history.
Food and transport costs all went up as a result of the escalating cost of petroleum and it is very unlikely that these prices will decrease.
Past history has shown that when fuel prices come down, the benefits are not necessarily passed on to consumers.
There are glaring solutions to the high fuel prices, but our government chooses to ignore them. SASOL was built by South African taxpayers money to protect our people from the oil mafia (OPEC) and the cost to produce this fuel is about R3 a litre.
SASOL supplies one third of our countries fuel needs and exports the surplus to neighbouring countries.
SASOL is one of the top 20 companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and, at one stage, reportedly made a profit of R100 million a day.
Our government does not have the determination to ‘expropriate’ SASOL and take its ownership back to the people so that we can pay less than R10 a litre for this local fuel.
I guess it’s the same reason the present government failed to act on the land question and today, after much badgering and threats, it starts a process which it could have began in 1994.
We still pay the highest in fuel taxes and levies, almost 40 percent per liter that’s sold, and we maintain that these costs can be removed altogether.
To do this requires boldness and a leadership that places the interests of the people first. There are alternative forms of taxation that won’t harm South Africans but our government lacks that ability to do so.
I won’t celebrate this decrease as I suspect some political parties will choose to do, for electioneering purposes. We have a long way to go before we can pop the cork.