The expected sharp increase of about R1,35/litre in fuel price is likely to see workers struggle financially in April, trade union Uasa said on Thursday.
The fuel price in South Africa is already around R14.62 per litre, meaning basic commodities and transport are becoming expensive.
Uasa spokesperson Stanford Mazhindu, said this increase, as well as a higher income tax burden, increases in customs and excise duties, higher electricity tariffs, and others, will increase the financial pressure on the already struggling South African worker even further.
"Workers under financial pressure lose their buying power as consumers, resulting in a struggling, low-growth economy and minimal job creation," Mazhindu said.
"In addition, it will push up consumer price inflation, which will in turn increase pressure on the Reserve Bank to hike interest rates. South Africa and its workers, already carrying too large financial burdens, cannot afford further interest rate increases."
But Mazhindu said the good news was that international oil prices may decrease in April as world economic growth is slowing, which should contribute to lower oil prices.
"If so," Manzinghu said, "this will bring welcome financial relief to workers."