Thousands of South Africans are heeding the call to bring busy roads across the country to a standstill in protest against the latest fuel hikes.
This after newly formed organisation People Against Petrol and Paraffin Price Increase, PAPPI, called on motorists to switch off the engines of their vehicles for 10 minutes between seven and eight o’clock.
This as cash-strapped motorists will be paying more than R16 a litre for petrol with the latest increases due to take effect on Wednesday.
This is the fifth fuel increase this year.
National Convenor of PAPPI Visvin Reddy is at the main demonstration in the Durban CBD.
“The response to our call to begin mass protest action is phenomenal. People have responded and we can see that many are wearing black today and also vehicles are pulling off along the road side for 10 minutes and then leaving and they giving us very encouraging messages of support.”
Economists are warning that the inflation rate could come under pressure from the sustained increases in fuel prices and the knock-on effect on other commodities. Automobile Association spokesperson, Layton Beard says the increases can be attributed to the Rand’s downward trend against the US dollar.
“When we look at the rand- US dollar exchange rate the exchange rate is basically used on an average. We’ve seen that the rand has lost a lot of ground against the greenback. If that trend continues and the rand continues to weaken against the US dollar and unless the oil price really does play along and comes down quite a lot we will most probably see an increase going from July into August. It may not be a huge increase it may be 10 cents of 15 cents but I think when you’ve crossed the threshold of 16 per litre for one grade of fuel it makes a big difference if that does go up by 10 cents. From our vantage point right now we could see another increase going into August.”