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Fri Oct 31 06:03:35 SAST 2014

Transport costs rocketing

TJ STRYDOM | 30 January, 2013 00:00
Traffic on the N3
Image by: TEBOGO LETSIE

Cost pressures are likely to gnaw at the pockets of many of the poorest in South Africa.

Spending more on transport leaves even less for the pantry.

Those who commute will have to fork out more as last year's fuel price increases filter through to consumers.

Bus company Putco announced yesterday that it would raise fares on its routes in Mamelodi by 15% on Friday.

This amounted to an average increase of R1.62 a trip for multi-journey tickets, the company said.

Heavy increases in petrol and other running costs, combined with the low increase in bus subsidies from the government, had left it with no alternative but to increase its fares, Putco said.

And fuel prices are set to go up again next week.

The latest daily update from the Central Energy Fund shows that the average under-recovery on 95 octane petrol has been 34c a litre so far this month.

On 93 octane petrol the under-recovery has been nearly 36c.

This makes it likely that the petrol price will increase next month by roughly 35c a litre.

The diesel price could go up by about 13c a litre, according to the fund's data.

Higher transport costs are felt directly by those using their own vehicles, but soon also flow through to minibus taxi and bus commuters.

More expensive fuel hits consumers a second time when it puts pressure on food prices because of higher logistics costs.

The prices of food and beverages have been increasing faster than overall consumer inflation, December's Consumer Price Index, released by Statistics SA last week, showed.

Food and beverages were 6.9% more expensive than a year ago, compared with overall inflation of 5.7%.

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