Government is still deliberating whether to continue with its fuel price relief intervention introduced in March, as the latest data from the Central Energy Fund (CEF) shows a marked increase expected for June.
With the hopes that global energy prices would stabilise by the end of May, government introduced a temporary 40% reduction in the duty imposed on each litre of fuel for April and May, helping contain increases in the retail prices of fuel.
The hope was that the two months would create enough of a buffer for local petrol prices to reduce at a more normalised rate. But now time is up, and motorists and commuters are set to face an almost 80% increase in domestic fuel prices since 2020’s pandemic-induced record low.
Fuel prices are set to increase by between R2.27 and R2.36/litre for petrol from 1 June. However, briefing the media on Thursday morning on the outcomes of Cabinet’s meeting on Wednesday, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said government was giving the matter strong consideration.
"Whether the government will intervene again and ensure that fuel prices remain reasonable as it’s a matter that affects the entire country is receiving special consideration because it affects our economy very strongly," said Gungubele.
He added that following deliberations, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana and Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe would be the best-placed individuals to address the nation on what steps would be taken by the government to intervene.
Gungubele said: "Cabinet thanked all non-governmental institutions, faith-based organisations, communities, business people and relief organisations that provided food, clothes, blankets, dignity packs and school uniforms to vulnerable families to meet their basic needs."
He added that while efforts were under way to assist those affected by the floods, there were numerous challenges faced by the government in this regard.
"The National Disaster Management Centre continues under the leadership of CoGTA Minister to coordinate all spheres of government in its effort to provide humanitarian relief to all affected households though there are a number of challenges," said Gungubele.
The government officials who briefed Parliament’s ad-hoc joint committee on flood disaster relief and recovery on Monday said flood disaster relief and recovery in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) was going to cost at least R25 billion.
The province experienced more rains on Saturday, following last month’s devastating floods, which claimed over 440 lives and left a trail of destruction.
National Council of Provinces (NCOP) MP Tim Brauteseth said the recovery is going to cost a lot more than the R1-billion which was allocated – and yet to be released – by Treasury as a relief effort in the wake of the floods.