09 October 2018 Read: 119
As the country celebrates Transport Month, motorists bore the brunt of a record high fuel price hike on Wednesday. The increase which saw the price of 95 unleaded breach the R17 per litre mark has sparked rumours of a possible increase in bus and taxi tariffs.
Rather paradoxically, Transport Month is intended to emphasise the importance of providing a safe, reliable and affordable public transport system. However, because of the continuous hikes in the petrol and diesel prices, the public transport system has become more unsafe as taxi’s now operate at maximum capacity in their efforts to polish every penny.
Though the residents in the cities such as Johannesburg and Pretoria will take the punch square to the jaw, local commuters can expect to reel in the aftershock very soon. Bulletin has received reports already of commuters having to que at the taxi ranks an hour earlier than usual in order to make it to work on time.
Exactly a decade ago, October 2008, motorists paid R9.41 per litre of 95 unleaded petrol and R9.31 per litre of 50ppm diesel. Fast forward to October 2017 and South Africans shelled out R14.01 for 95 unleaded and R12.19 per litre of 50ppm Diesel.
As of yesterday, just a year later, it will cost you R17.08 per litre of 95 unleaded and R15.69 per litre of 50ppm diesel. If you drive an average town-runner with a 45 litre fuel tank, you will have to fork out R765 to fill your tank.
By comparison, you could buy 10 cans of baked beans, 10 cans of Pilchards, 10 packets of pasta, 10 kilogrammes of chicken pieces and 5kg brown sugar. You would then be left with about R30 change with which to pay your taxi fare.
But even this is set to change soon as retailers will inevitably be forced to increase their margins in order to cushion the increase in transport costs. As the cost of a sale rises, the GP will follow suit. Meanwhile, the Energy Department has blamed the weaker rand and the high crude oil price for the latest fuel price increase.