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Fuel cheer dented by levy hike - AA

Picture at end of March will not be as rosy

Lower international petrol prices, and a stronger Rand / US dollar exchange rate, have combined to create a pleasing 70 cents a litre drop for petrol. This was according to the Automobile Association (AA), which was commenting on unaudited end-month data released by the Central Energy Fund (CEF).

The Association said that some measure of stability had returned to the fuel price picture.

"Unfortunately a steady appreciation in international diesel prices has meant that diesel will be up by around 15 cents a litre."

The announcement by the Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan, of a 30 cents a litre increase in the fuel levy means that any movements in the fuel prices at the end of March will be negatively impacted.

The AA said it was concerning that motorists were again being called upon to fund shortfalls in government revenue.

"The National Treasury forecasts that the increased levy will add approximately R6.8 billion to the fiscus. This revenue is collected from the most economically active and heavily-taxed sector of the population," the Association commented.

The AA also commented that government appeared uncertain over its approach to increases in the fuel levy.

"When a moderate increase of ten to 15 cents a litre was proposed to fund the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), it was rejected by SANRAL," the Association said.

The AA pointed out that the combined increase in the fuel levy over the past two Budgets (2015 and 2016) amounted to 60.5 cents a litre, with an additional 50 cents a litre going to the Road Accident Fund (RAF) since 2015.

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E-mail press@aasa.co.za

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