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Deregulating fuel price could lead to massive job losses, Parly told

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe and his top officials were in Parliament to explain what the government is doing to mitigate the effects of the fuel price.

FILE: Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Energy Department says it doesn’t believe deregulating the fuel price is feasible for consumers, the industry or the economy.

In fact, it says, it could drive up the cost of fuel.

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe and his top officials were in Parliament on Tuesday to explain what the government is doing to mitigate the effects of the fuel price, which is at an all-time high.

The Department of Energy says deregulation of the fuel price could lead to massive job losses.

Deputy director general Tseliso Maqubela says retailers would almost certainly opt for self-service stations.

“So, you would lose those 50,000 workers overnight. Is that the policy position that would be better serve South Africa?”

He says there’s no guarantee that deregulation would decrease the cost of fuel because the country’s distribution infrastructure is insufficient.

“There’s only one pipeline bringing in fuel from the coast. All the companies have to use that pipeline.”

Maqubela says he also doesn’t believe the government would be able to transform the sector if deregulation was allowed.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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