JOHANNESBURG. – South Africa is experiencing the pinch of petrol price increases due to the global energy crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its impact on the Brent crude oil price.
The impact is also being felt in neighbouring Zimbabwe and other African countries, including the east African nation of Uganda.
South Africa avoided record fuel price increases on Tuesday as the government announced it would extend the reduction of the fuel levy announced for April and May to June and July.
Economists are warning of further increases throughout the year, which will hit consumers already dealing with rising food, electricity and transport costs.
Economist and University of Witwatersrand Professor Jannie Rossouw said further increases should be expected throughout the year.
“The government should start spending less and must show us how to do that,” said Rossouw, adding that South Africans are “really tired” of the bad example set by local politicians.
“The government cannot continue conducting itself in this way,” he said.
He added the biggest impact would be felt by the poor, who are already facing economic strife.
The fuel price increase is the latest addition to the country’s economic woes, which include a 34.5% unemployment rate, stagnant economic growth and the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in the loss of an estimated 2 million jobs.
“I am not happy with the increase, it is too much. It will now be too difficult to buy food for the children, we will end up having to sell our cars avoiding petrol costs,” said Soweto motorist Mwelase Mooki. – africanews.com