Government to ask South African businesses not to raise their prices after fuel hike

Following the inland price of 95 octane petrol reaching R16.02, the SA government is looking to intervene.

Petrol has gone from R14.42 in January 2018 to R16.02 in July 2018.

According to a report by the Sunday Times, the government is now looking to add more products to the VAT exemption list, and ask local retailers and producers not to raise their prices as a result.

“The government will ask food retailers and producers and the transport sector to absorb higher [fuel] prices,” stated the report.

The combination of the rise in petrol prices, and the recent VAT hike to 15%, has forced companies to raise their prices to absorb the blow – which leaves consumers paying more for goods at the tills.

The report stated that President Cyril Ramaphosa has told his ministers to “create a package of measures” and engage with the business sector to find a way to absorb the fuel hike costs.

Products which could fall into the VAT-exempt list may also be changed, which includes the possibility of adding more goods to the list, added the report.

The news follows a recent statement from Efficient Group economist Dawie Roodt that the price of petrol may increase by 25 cents a litre in August 2018.

“We are now paying more for fuel than ever before in the history of our country and this is going to have a significant impact on the growth of the economy,” said Roodt.

The Sunday Times report added that an interest rate hike may also be around the corner for South Africans, which will add more pressure.

Now read: South African presidency website hacked

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Government to ask South African businesses not to raise their prices after fuel hike