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'We are literally living in hell’ — SA reacts to unemployment stats and fuel price increases

01 June 2022 - 08:02
Scores have reacted to the double whammy of unemployment stats and record fuel prices this week. File photo.
Scores have reacted to the double whammy of unemployment stats and record fuel prices this week. File photo.
Image: Graphic: RUBY GAY MARTIN

South Africans have flooded social media with reactions to the double whammy of unemployment stats and record fuel prices this week.

Stats SA reported the unemployment rate declined from a record high of 35.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021 to 34.5% in the first quarter of 2022. 

This comes after the manufacturing and mining industries added jobs and government employed more people through its public works programme.

It is the first drop since the second quarter of 2020, when job seekers were hindered by the strictest lockdowns to slow the spread of Covid-19.

According to the latest data, an estimated 370,000 jobs were gained between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022.

The biggest job gains were recorded in community and social services, manufacturing and trade, while there were job losses in private households, finance, construction and agriculture.

What about fuel? 

The department of mineral resources & energy announced a petrol price increase of between R2.33 and R2.43/l, while diesel and illuminating paraffin by R1.10/l and R1.56/l, respectively.

The increases see the petrol price at R24.17/l for 95 unleaded and R23.94 for 93 unleaded. The wholesale price of diesel also reached record highs, with high-sulphur 0.05% diesel priced inland at R23.09/l and low-sulphur 0.005% at R23.23/l.

In a joint statement, the departments of finance and mineral resources and energy said they would extend the R1.50 fuel levy holiday, which was due to expire on Tuesday, for another two months.

“The temporary reduction in the general fuel levy will smoothen the impact of persistently higher fuel prices on consumers and businesses as the economy will need to adjust to this new reality,” read the statement

On social media, many expressed their grievances about the increase in fuel prices and how this impacts on unemployment and poverty.

Here is snapshot of what they had to say:

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