Parliament to debate South Africa’s record petrol price hikes – as country faces ‘perfect storm’

Parliament will hold a debate on South Africa’s record petrol price increases following an official request by the opposition Democratic Alliance.

While a date and time for the debate have not been set, the discussions are set to focus on the 1 June petrol price hike which could see the cost of petrol increase by close to R4/litre.

DA leader John Steenhuisen has warned that government will need to intervene ahead of the increase or risk further civil unrest.

“If we do not stop this fuel price increase, millions more people will fall into poverty, children will be stunted, people will starve, businesses will go bankrupt, jobs will be lost and mass riots could be sparked, such as in Sri Lanka last month in response to fuel price hikes there.

“The timing of this massive petrol price hike could not be worse, with South Africans battling under the weight of 46% unemployment, rolling blackouts, irrational Covid regulations, flooding, drought and collapsing service delivery.”

Steenhuisen said these issues have been compounded by the impending impact of global inflation, supply chain disruptions, and export blocks brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – leading to the ‘perfect storm’.

The latest data from the Central Energy Fund (CEF) shows an under-recovery (increase) of between R2.27 and R2.36/litre for petrol from next week. This is set to be compounded by a further R1.50/litre increase as the government’s fuel tax relief comes to an end. Combined, these increases are expected to push the petrol price past the R25/litre level.

The government introduced R1.50/litre relief in March with the hopes that global energy prices would stabilise and that the two months would create enough of a buffer for local petrol prices to reduce at a more normalised rate.

Now time is up, and motorists and commuters are contending with an almost 80% increase in domestic fuel prices since 2020’s pandemic-induced record low.

Read: South Africa faces 16% petrol price jump in June

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Parliament to debate South Africa’s record petrol price hikes – as country faces ‘perfect storm’