Tough months ahead in South Africa

South African consumers, already up to their necks in debt, are in for another shock over the next few months. This is according to financial experts.

On Wednesday, the 6 of March, petrol is set to rise by 74 cents a litre, while diesel will increase by 91 cents a litre.

In addition to the fuel price increase – which economists ascribe largely to the weaker rand and rising crude oil price – a number of taxes and levies are also about to kick in.

Dawie Roodt, chief economist of the Efficient Group, said consumers are also about to be hit by higher toll fees, new taxes, and hikes in three existing ones between March and June.

“The rise in tolls by Sanral on top of the fuel price hike is going to affect all South Africans thanks to the fact that most freight is now transported by road because of the total collapse of the freight rail network under the stewardship of a corrupt and bankrupt Prasa,” Roodt said.

He added that the increase to the General Fuel and Road Accident Fund levies, which will apply in April, is going to add to the pain that consumers will have to endure significantly.

More taxes

Neil Roets, CEO of Debt Rescue, said the introduction of the carbon tax on the 1 of April along with the refusal by the National Treasury not to move the country’s tax brackets in line with inflation, is going to mean that most will end up paying more in taxes.

From April 2019, the General Fuel Levy will increase by 5 cents per litre, and the Road Accident Fund Levy will increase by 15 cents per litre.

From June 2019, the Carbon Tax will be introduced, adding 9 cents per litre to the petrol price and 10 cents per litre for diesel.

Roets said it was highly likely that more motorists would skip paying toll fees because they had substantially less money to spend.

“The reality is that South Africans have now been reduced to buying food on credit and while there is still substantial expenditure on luxuries, a growing number of deeply indebted consumers are being pushed into a corner where debt counselling is their only solution,” he said.

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