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Fears that record fuel price hike could lead to job cuts

Government, business leaders and labour will meet on Thursday for the presidential job summit, which is aimed at creating and safeguarding jobs in a struggling economy.

FILE: Members from various political organisations picket outside National Treasury’s offices against the price of fuel. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - There are concerns from workers and the business sector that the record fuel price hike could lead to job cuts and, in worst case scenarios, the forced closure of small enterprises.

Government, business leaders and labour will meet on Thursday for the presidential job summit, which is aimed at creating and safeguarding jobs in a struggling economy.

The Road Freight Association says consumers will simply not be able to afford to buy certain products, which could see small businesses closing shop.

WATCH: Digging deeper! Petrol price hits new high

Spokesperson Gavin Kelly has used the food retail industry as an example, saying it’s an extremely competitive sector.

“We are going to see a lot more businesses going into financial distress.”

Meanwhile, Cosatu's Sizwe Pamla says the trade union federation fears the unemployment rate will only continue to increase.

“If we allow this to continue we won’t only have a technical recession, but we will have a depression for years to come.

Last month President Cyril Ramaphosa released details of his economic stimulus package, which aims to help sectors push the country out of a technical recession.

But many workers remain sceptical whether there will be any tangible difference any time soon.

The fuel price is going up to a record high with petrol increasing between 99 cents and R1.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)