Maimane wants spiralling petrol price to be discussed in Parliament as ‘matter of urgency

09 June 2018 - 15:40 By Timeslive
DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has requested that the petrol price‚ which skyrocketed to an unprecedented R15.79 per litre earlier this week‚ be dealt with in Parliament as a “matter of urgency”.

“I have approached the Speaker of the National Assembly‚ Baleka Mbete‚ requesting an urgent debate of public importance to consider the current structure and composition of RAF and General Fuel Levies‚ and how this can be altered to relieve ordinary South Africans from this financial strain‚” Maimane said.

He said the fuel price hike would mean the cost of living – mainly food and transport – would increase‚ adding a further financial burden to ordinary South Africans.

Speaking after a two-day sitting of the DA’s federal executive in Johannesburg‚ Maimane said the state of the economy remained one of the party’s key focuses.

“Without a growing‚ vibrant and inclusive economy‚ we will never address the injustices of our past‚ and create opportunity for our young people to pursue their own destiny.”

He said the federal executive had noted with major concern the latest GDP figures‚ and unemployment rate.

“Since Cyril Ramaphosa’s election‚ the economy has taken a huge blow. Unemployment is at a post 1994 record high with 9.4 million South Africans looking for work. Added to this‚ economy shrunk by 2.2% in the first quarter of 2018 – its worst faring in close on a decade. This included high employment sectors such as agriculture (-24%)‚ mining (-9.9%) and manufacturing (-6.4%).

“This is compounded by the financial war Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC government has launched against poor‚ working and middle-class South Africans. In addition to a 1 percentage point VAT increase‚ an Income Tax increase‚ ‘Sin tax’ increase‚ and an increase in RAF and General Fuel Levy – the price of petrol skyrocketed earlier this week to an unprecedented R15.79 per litre. This will mean the cost of living – mainly food and transport – will increase‚ adding a further financial burden to ordinary South Africans.”

Maimane said that the nation had hoped that a Ramaphosa presidency would yield positive results for the country’s economy.

“However‚ the latest GDP and unemployment figures tell South Africans what they already know: an ANC government can never grow our economy at the rate we need to create new‚ permanent jobs for the almost 10 million unemployed South Africans.

“The ANC is about big government‚ big business‚ and big labour – with the poor and unemployed way down in the pecking order. It is only the DA that is relentlessly focused on providing jobs and opportunity to those left behind.”