South Africa: High fuel cost a burden for the poor

Fuel-dispencer10 March 2014, Johannesburg – The Congress of South African Trade Unions, COSATU, in the North West province has noted the high fuel price increase in the country.

Since 1st of January 2014 the fuel price has increased by more than R1a litre which gives an average of close to ten percent increase on the fuel cost.

What COSATU has also noted is that the increase in the fuel cost carries along with it a number of commodities which are transported by fuel using modes of transport or which are produced using fuel.

The high fuel cost will contribute to making the lives of our poor people difficult and this will also reduce their take-home pay as some of the disposable income is taken by the fuel increase and the high toll gates such as the most expensive toll gate in the country at Swartruggens.

This high fuel cost is also a major contributor to the high cost of food and thus making more people in our country to go to bed hungry.

COSATU has also noted that the minister of finance has added an additional 20c per litre on the price of petrol and this will go to the fuel levy and the road accident fund, but we believe that this will be paid directly by the consumer, putting them more into poverty.

COSATU has also noted that there will be increases in the toll fees throughout the country and this is another burden on the poor.

COSATU believes that the state can do something in mitigating the high fuel cost as in other countries in the region.

COSATU also believes that the lack of reliable safe and affordable public transport contributes to the high use of fuel as most people use their private cars to commute between home and work and therefore the state must speed up the program to roll out reliable public transport in all communities.

The burden on the increase on fuel will be the same burden on the increase of the toll fee that is coming and we are going be trapped in deep poverty in particular the poor working class who are travelling in the N4 road on a daily basis, for a person who works in Zeerust travelling every day must have R200 for toll gates and petrol money every day.

COSATU calls on the government to cap the increase of fuel price and speed up the discussions on the reducing of the expensive toll gate of Swartruggens.


– COSATU Press Release

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