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Dept announces lower fuel prices for July, while AA says new ministers must step up service to SA

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The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has announced lower petrol prices for July, while the Automobile Association (AA) called on new ministers in the Cabinet to step up the government’s service to citizens.

The AA also called for Gwede Mantashe, who was reappointed as the Minister of Mineral and Petroleum Resources, to initiate an open and transparent review of the country’s fuel pricing structure. Picture:Tumi Pakkies, Independent Newspapers

THE DEPARTMENT of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has announced lower petrol prices for July, while the Automobile Association (AA) called on new ministers in the Cabinet to step up the government’s service to citizens.

The lower fuel prices take effect from Thursday.

South Africans have been under financial strain amid high petrol prices and a high inflation environment that is starting to moderate.

Based on current local and international factors, the fuel prices for July will be adjusted as follows:

– The price of 93 Unleaded petrol will fall by R1.05 a litre, while the price of 95 Unleaded petrol will decrease by 99 cents a litre (c/l).

– Diesel (0.05% sulphur) prices will fall by 30.38 c/l, while diesel (0.005% sulphur) will decrease by 24.38 c/l.

– Illuminating paraffin (wholesale) will see an 18 c/l decrease.

“The fuel prices schedule for the different zones will be published on Wednesday, July 3, 2024,” the department said.

The DMRE said the main reasons for the fuel price adjustments were due to the average Brent Crude oil price decreasing from $82.98 (R1,545) to $82.24 per barrel during the period under review.

“The main contributing factors were the increased production by the US and other non-Opec countries amid slow economic growth globally,” it said. “The average international product prices of petrol decreased following the lower Brent Crude oil prices during the period under review.”

It also said the rand had appreciated slightly, on average, against the dollar from R18.46 to R18.44 during the period under review when compared to the previous one. This led to lower contributions to the Basic Fuel Prices of all products by about 1.50 cents per litre on all products.

AA on GNU

Meanwhile, the AA said the finalisation of the Cabinet of the Government of National Unity (GNU) by President Cyril Ramaphosa had brought certainty to the leadership of key government departments – a move it welcomed.

It said Barbara Creecy, who was appointed as the new Minister of Transport, and Gwede Mantashe, reappointed as the Minister of Mineral and Petroleum Resources, must now ensure effective leadership with a view to making meaningful inroads into critical areas managed by their respective departments.

Fuel pricing structure

In relation to Mantashe’s appointment, the AA again called on him and the Department of Mineral and Petroleum Resources to initiate an open and transparent review of the country’s fuel pricing structure.

“South Africans remain constrained by high fuel costs and there is a dire need to review the country’s fuel pricing structure; each line item which comprises the fuel price must be interrogated and assessed.

“Together with civil organisations and experts, a better model must be sought in the interests of finding ways to mitigate rising costs and to buffer South Africans against ongoing geopolitical developments which impact local fuel pricing,” the AA said.

Transport

The AA said it noted that Creecy was the 11th Minister of Transport since 1994, “which is cause for concern as continuity of leadership within government departments is vital. In this regard, we urge Ms Creecy to engage the AA and other civil organisations to better understand the transport and mobility challenges facing millions of South Africans, and our approach to resolving these challenges” .

Transport, it said, intersected all other departments and was crucial to the economic development of the country.

“Its success must, therefore, be prioritised by the new minister and the entire Cabinet. The need for an improved transport model in South Africa must be high on the agenda, as should efforts to improve road safety,” the association said.

“Public transport in South Africa remains fractured and largely inadequate and the need to create safe, reliable, affordable, and sustainable public transport should be a major focus for the new minister.”

It further said addressing the country’s rail crisis must also feature strongly moving forward as this creates downstream issues on the country’s road network.

“Introducing measures to improve traffic law enforcement and dealing effectively with the problems at Driving Licence Testing Centres – including those associated with the provision of driving licence cards – should, similarly, enjoy serious attention by the new minister.”

– BUSINESS REPORT

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