UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

FUEL REMAINS A GOVERNMENT CASH COW AND CONSUMER HEADACHE

STATEMENT ISSUED BY NELSON RAMODIKE, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR MINERALS AND ENERGY

The latest warnings of fuel shortages come as a shock to hundreds of thousands of hard-pressed consumers and commuters. The possibility of another fuel price hike adds to their burden.

Though the industry have been experiencing problems outside their control due to the Natref fire as well as distribution network disruption caused by fires and snow in KwaZulu Natal, it remains a fact that the consumer continues to suffer.

For government fuel remains a cash cow. The arguments made in favour of excessive regulation and levies ring hollow.
The rising cost of fuel is blamed on international oil prices, but does not take into account the high levies that government include in the price. These levies are thrown at bottomless pits such as the Road Accident Fund, with little or no benefit for the taxpayer.
The argument for strict regulation is even sillier; we are expected to believe that government wants to protect a strategic economic asset on behalf of consumers, but why then the fuel shortages?

Government's long-standing promises of deregulating the industry have come to naught. Every time a new excuse is offered, while they milk consumers for all they're worth.

Enquiries:
Mr Nelson Ramodike, MP
UDM Spokesperson for Minerals and Energy

Cape Town
26 September 2001