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Petrol price increase to effect both businesses and private motorists

The latest increase of 39 cents a litre in the petrol price will hurt most consumers. The latest increase of 39 cents a litre in the petrol price will hurt most consumers.

The latest increase of 39 cents a litre in the petrol price will hurt most consumers. But it is the increase in the diesel price (24 cents a litre) that will do the most damage...

According to the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the latest increase of 39 cents a litre in the petrol price will hurt most consumers. But it is the increase in the diesel price (24 cents a litre) that will do the most damage.

“Business is particularly concerned, because diesel is a basic input cost for agriculture and transport.  It affects the price of every item of food in the supermarket,” said Janine Myburgh, President of the Chamber.

“Private motorists may be able to reduce their travelling to save fuel, but there is no escape for businesses,” she said. “Goods have to be delivered and most machinery from compressors to bulldozers run on diesel fuel. We need to take a new look at the diesel price because it is so fundamental to the economy.”

Mr Peter Hugo, chairman of the Chamber’s Transport portfolio committee, said the Energy White Paper of 1998 recommended that taxes on diesel fuel should be reduced. At the time diesel was the cheaper fuel and the White Paper said “This price-differential promotes the use of diesel which is a more efficient fuel and also lowers input costs for productive activities.”

Hugo also said the situation had worsened in the last 16 years and diesel was now the more expensive fuel, despite the fact that it was the cheaper one to produce.

“This should make us review the way the diesel price is calculated and also the various taxes on diesel. The government thought there was a good case to reduce taxes on diesel in 1998 and we think there is an even better case now.”

The petrol price is set to increase tomorrow, Wednesday 05 February, 2014.

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