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Govt reaches out to SAPIA for advice on shielding poor from fuel hikes

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe says the government is deeply concerned about the impact skyrocketing fuel prices are having, particularly, on the poor.

FILE: Energy Minister Jeff Radebe. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Energy Minister Jeff Radebe says the government is in talks with the South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA) for advice on how best to shield poor people from the soaring price of fuel.

This includes possibly capping the price of unleaded 93 octane.

The government in September used money from the Central Energy Fund to keep the expected price rise low, but this was a once-off move.

Radebe was asked about further measures at Thursday’s briefing on Cabinet’s meeting on Wednesday.

Radebe is closely watching the price of oil, which on Wednesday, 10 October, hit $84 a barrel.

He says the government is deeply concerned about the impact skyrocketing fuel prices are having, particularly, on the poor.

“Last week, as the Department of Energy, we started a consultation process with the petroleum industry, with specific reference of asking their expert advice of what the impact would be if we were to set a maximum price for 93 unleaded.”

Radebe says the industry has been given until next Thursday, 18 October, to respond, after which the government will take a decision.

Radebe says the cost of crude and the rand-dollar exchange rate are fuelling higher costs at the pump.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)