By Khulekani Magubane for New24
Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy has proposed that Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe and Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana consider introducing a temporary tax holiday on South Africa’s fuel products to ease pressure on South Africans facing fuel price hikes.
The committee resolved to propose the intervention on Tuesday, following growing upward pressure on the price of fuel, including the continued conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The war has driven oil prices to a high of $130 a barrel.
This comes after Godongwana told a plenary of Parliament’s National Assembly last week that government intended to shield South Africans from a spike in fuel prices. The minister said National Treasury was in “sensitive discussions” about this, with plans to “take some immediate steps for April and May”.
Committee chair and ANC MP Sahlulele Luzipo told Fin24 on Tuesday that the committee resolved to send the proposal formally to both ministers for consideration. He said the structure and modalities around such a tax holiday would be left to the minister to decide.
“It’s directed to the minister in his engagement with his counterpart at National Treasury. They must determine the process but no one doubts the emergency of the situation right now,” said Luzipo.
Earlier this month, the Automobile Association projected that petrol and diesel prices currently look set for record increases in the first week of April.
The association’s data suggested that 95 octane petrol is set to increase by R2.15/l, while 93 octane is expected to climb by R2.07/l, diesel by between R2.94/l and R3.08/l and illuminating paraffin by R2.51/l, with little to cushion the blow on South African households.