Government is considering fixing a
maximum price for unleaded fuel to cushion the country from escalating prices,
Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said on Thursday.
"Government is deeply
concerned by the rising cost of petrol in South Africa which is largely caused
by the rand dollar exchange rate, and the price of crude [oil]," said Radebe
at a post-Cabinet briefing.
A task team, including officials
from the Department of Energy and the National Treasury, is examining what to
do to cushion the blow of another increase, as the international price of crude
oil has kept increasing.
In September the government took a
once-off decision to not increase the price of fuel. At the time the DoE said SA had witnessed
"sustained increases in fuel prices for the past few months, which placed
a strain on consumers". Radebe said he estimated September's subsidy -
which amounted to 20c a litre - would cost around R400m. The subsidy was funded
by the Central Energy Fund.
The government has now decided to
examine whether it should set a maximum price for unleaded fuel. It has set
October 18 as a deadline for the gathering of information on which it will base
The team looking into the
possibility of a price ceiling is also expected to consider what legal steps
would be necessary to make this possible.