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Sigh of relief from Kimberley motorists

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Without the intervention, prices could have gone up by another 25 cents per litre

Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency/ANA

Motorists in Kimberley can breathe a sigh of relief after the government gave them a helping hand by intervening in yet another petrol price increase.

The Department of Energy announced an “urgent” once-off fuel price intervention measure, taken “because South Africans have seen sustained increases for the past five months”.

The only increase that motorists will have to pay from today is a retail margin increase of 4.9 cents per litre on petrol, while the prices of paraffin and diesel will remain unchanged.

“Despite the fact that these increases were caused mainly by international factors, the department decided to intervene temporarily for this month,” said Energy Minister Jeff Radebe.

Without the intervention, prices could have gone up by another 25 cents per litre.

Motorists in Kimberley yesterday welcomed the decision by government to intervene.

“Everything is costing more. Food prices rise because of the fuel price. One can no longer even afford the basic food essentials . . . luxuries are simply out of the question. We have to pay tax on everything yet our income remains the same,” residents said.

Others warned that the relief was temporary.

“We will get the surprise of our lives in the coming months when the petrol price goes up again. This has been a trend of government where the price of fuel goes down one month and then it goes up for two or three successive months.”

Consumers who make use of paraffin said they also welcomed the fact they would not have to face yet another increase this month.

“The cost of living is very high. We wish that we had electricity and did not have to rely on paraffin but even those who use electricity complain about how expensive it is.

“It seems like everyone is suffering. Many households are trying to save on energy costs by using alternative fuel like wood. We are glad that the paraffin price will not go up because it is some relief on our pockets.

“The government, however, needs to find a permanent solution to the continuous increase in fuel prices as it is the poor who are the ones suffering in the end,” they said.

Others said that even paraffin was becoming a luxury.

“A bottle of paraffin costs almost R10. That is also unaffordable for some households. We are using firewood to cook. Luckily the winter is over and we can now cook outside on an open fire and save paraffin,” they said.