Petrol price hike is an attack on the poor

The latest petrol price increase by a record 82 cents a litre is totally unacceptable. It cannot be justified on any grounds.

High international oil prices and the weakening of the rand – reasons given for the massive increase, simply do not hold water.

It is the biggest con of the century.

About eight years ago when Brent crude oil was selling at $125 a barrel and the rand was trading at R13 against the US dollar, motorists were paying about R14 a litre for petrol.

Today, when crude oil is hovering around $75 a barrel and the rand is trading around R13 against the US dollar, motorists, instead of having to paying less, are in fact paying far more – about R16 a litre for petrol.

Although during the past eight years we have seen crude oil drop by almost 50% consumers have not benefited in any way, not even by a cent.

Instead we have seen a massive rise in the price of petrol.

Analysts are predicting another increase in July and more increases in the coming months.

The latest increase is an attack on the poor.

It is a case, once again, of the poor and vulnerable having to bear the burden of maladministration, profiteering and corruption that is not of their making.

The rise in petrol will now put up the cost of transport, increase basic food prices, electricity, water and other sundry costs, adding misery and suffering to the poor and extreme hardship of ordinary South Africans.

It should be noted that prior to our democracy in 1994, there would be mass protests if the price of petrol rose by 10 cents.

What has happened to those protests?

It is time South Africans took to the streets. If we don’t, the government will continue to exploit our ignorance and inaction.