Relief for motorists

No need to bathe in the euphoria though as it will be short-lived once fuel levy kicks in


THERE’S huge relief for motorists as the fuel price at the pumps will drop sig­nificantly next month by almost 70c/l, but the benefits will be short lived as the fuel levy of 30c/l kicks-in on April 1 and the weakening of the rand is another threat to make things worse.
For the first time in a couple of years the petrol price will hit lows of under R12/l as the new price will now cost motorists R11.46/l and R11.31/l respec­tively both in Gauteng and the coast.
The pump price of all grades of petrol will decrease, but price of both grades of diesel will increase by 14c and 15c/l respectively.
Motorists are paying R12.15/l for 93 and R12.43 for 95 in Gauteng and in the coast is R11.89 for 93 and R12.00 for 95.
As a result, the new price adjustments will see prices dropping to R11.74 for 95 and R11.46 for 93 in Gauteng, followed by coastal prices of R11.20 for 93 and R11.31 for 95 respectively.
Lower international petrol prices and a stronger rand boost motorists for March fuel adjustments as the oil price is sitting on record lows of below $50 (R808) a barrel.
However, the Automobile Associa­tion of South Africa (AA) warned that Treasury’s decision to add a further 30c to the fuel levy could dampen the mood in April, when the measure will be implemented.
The AA said it was concerning that motorists were again being called upon to fund shortfalls in government rev­enue. “The national Treasury forecasts that the increased levy will add approxi­mately R6.8bn to the fiscus.
“This revenue is collected from the most economically active and heavily-taxed sector of the population,” the association commented.
The AA also said that the government appeared uncertain over its approach to increases in the fuel levy.
The CEO of Debt Rescue, Neil Roets said although fuel relief to consumers i was welcomed, the sad part is that it would only last for a month.
“The fuel drop for March is really j nothing. “It’s only 30-days smiling to the pumps for motorists.
“A lot of increases are still building up ahead.
“Food price’ hikes due to drought, rising interest rates, falling rand and j the new fuel levy of 30c/l, will bring pain to the consumer struggling to survive starting in April,” Roets said.
He said given all these extra costs facing consumers, it was time to build i emergency reserves, as now as the “per- j feet storms” lies ahead.
“Is not easy to build emergency reserves given the fact the 80% of SA disposable income is channelled to service debts, but consumers can cut on luxuries such as DStv, smoking and costly holidays.
“If you can’t afford emergency reserves find other alternatives,” Roets said.

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