Government is reviewing the methodology of the basic fuel price and other regulations to help reduce the cost of petrol in South Africa, says president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Answering questions in parliament on Thursday (17 March), the president said these changes will be implemented as ‘quickly and as soon as possible’.
“To address the rising cost of petrol, the minister of finance announced that no increases will be made to the general fuel levy on petrol and diesel for 2022/23 to provide some respite from rising costs.
“The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy and National Treasury are reviewing the methodology for the Basic Fuel Price as well as other regulated components to identify changes that could reduce the cost of fuel.”
He added that a committee of ministers has been established to look at the exact impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis on South Africa, which will then help towards taking measures to cushion the blow of rising fuel prices.
“In short, our fiscal stance will insulate public finances against the possibility of domestic and international monetary tightening while simultaneously supporting households through higher allocations to pro-poor spending.
“It is important to acknowledge that the South African economy has thus far proved resilient to external shocks, including the turbulence linked to the conflict in Ukraine.”
While Ramaphosa did not specify which measures would be introduced, he said a range of considerations are being considered, including suggestions from opposition parties, business and civil society.
“We are using all of the levers at our disposal to cushion South Africans from the effects of the rising cost of living. That is why the government’s programme of economic recovery and reconstruction focuses on responding to the immediate needs of poor and unemployed South Africans.
“The 2022 Budget extends government’s support to poor and vulnerable South Africans by allocating an average of 59.4% of consolidated spending to the social wage over the medium term.”
Ramaphosa said that the government has introduced a number of grant increases in its February budget which will help the country’s poorest South Africans.
However, he said that the government is particularly concerned about rising food prices and other costs in the coming months due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.