It will be an April of financial woe for South Africans. The price of everything is going up – including fuel. Fill it up while you can…
The 1st of April looms over South Africa like a particularly sick April Fool’s joke. It’s time for the dreaded VAT increase. As companies in every single industry scramble to get everything in order, the consumers – that being you and I – are facing assault on a personal level. A hike in the fuel price.
You didn’t think the lull would last forever, did you?
But wait, according to the Automobile Association, petrol price fluctuations are indicating a decline of around 12c a litre of petrol and 18c a litre of diesel.
International oil prices have been in our favour. The Rand/US Dollar exchange rate has remained relatively flat for the last month. We have a president who isn’t Jacob Zuma. So, what’s the problem?
They’ve hiked the levies, of course. Going into April, we’re all going to feel it.
As announced in the Budget Speech, we can expect an increase in the General Fuel and Road Accident Fund levies. The increases come into effect on 1 April, along with the change of VAT from 14% to 15%.
Minister of Granting-The-Guptas-Citizenship, Malusi Gigaba, announced that the General Fuel Levy will go up by 22c from R3.15 to R3.37. That’s a 7% increase.
The RAF Levy will see an increase of 30c, from R1.63 to R1.93 – an 18% increase.
These increases amount to a total increase of 11% on the current levies, from R4.78 to R5.30.
The Automobile Association has stated that this is reason for great concern. A few months ago, the AA said that it had urged the SA government to be cautious in determining any future hikes to the levies.
The impact that such an increase would have on all road users, but particularly the poor, on top of everything else, could be too much to bear.
“At the time we also argued that any increases should be in line with inflation which, we note today, is at its lowest since March 2015 at 4.4%,” said the AA. “Instead, the increases are sizable and more than double current inflation.”
The increase in the levies will see an increase of 52c per litre in the fuel price. At the moment, a litre of unleaded petrol costs R13.90 inland, and R13.49 at the coast. These prices will increase to R14.42 and R14.01, respectively.
“Coupled with the increase in VAT, the increase to the fuel levies means South Africans, especially the poor, will, in our opinion, be faced with substantial hikes in their day-to-day living expenses. Many of these people will simply not be able to absorb them.”
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