The announcement by the Department of Energy that the petrol price remains unchanged would have represented a welcome reprieve for consumers but for the slate levy coming into effect for the first time in many years on Wednesday.
The slate levy of almost 22 cents exactly cancels the savings of 22 cents per litre over recovery for petrol and will add an extra 22 cents per litre to the price of diesel bringing the total price hike per litre of diesel to 48 cents per litre. The Slate Account is currently in the red by R2.2 billion for which the consumer will now be held responsible.
While a slate levy is applicable on fuels to finance the balance in the Slate Account when it shows a negative balance, fuel companies have a responsibility to help keep the Slate Account in the green by paying back any price difference in the open market to the Slate Account when prices are in their favour, in other words when they pay less in the open market than what they earn locally by selling fuel to the South African consumer. This payback by fuel companies reportedly seldom or never happens.
UASA therefore questions the sudden implementation of the slate levy to the structure of the fuel price and demands an investigation into whether fuel companies meet the requirements of the Slate Account not only when they can claim from it when they pay more for fuel in the open market than what they can sell it for in the domestic market, but also when they are required to pay back the, for them, favourable price differences.
The South African worker is affected by fuel prices in every sphere of life. It is time that the workers on whose labour the economy rests are taken into consideration.
For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contactA ndre Venter at 083 251 3274.