Why can't SA have open source petrol?

2013-07-14 13:20
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Cape Town - As a looming petrol hike puts even more pressure on cash-strapped motorists, Fin24 users share their tips to keep head above water.

July saw the Octane 5 petrol price increase to R13.23/litre in Gauteng and R12.86/litre at the coast, while both grades of diesel increased by 78.20c/litre.

However, another hike is expected after Deputy Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene hinted that the government may be raising taxes because of revenue coming in below expectations.

This shortfall - coupled with the expected 61c a litre increase in the petrol price on August 7 - will hit consumers hard, according to Debt Rescue CEO Neil Roets.

While some Fin24 users launched an attack on the government, others offered tips.

"It is unfair that government had a high level of expenditure and does not want to look at cost cutting as an approach to maintain a positive financial position," wrote Lungile Ndyibithi.

He feels raising taxes would choke the economy.

"If they want to increase revenues through taxing people, are they not killing the economy as the percentage of employed individuals is far less than unemployed?"

According to Direct Axis, the current petrol price has earned South Africa the 40th spot among the 60 most expensive countries in the world for petrol.

Petrol is the cheapest in Venezuela at 11c a litre, and the most expensive in Turkey at R26.97 a litre.

User Brendon Cloete wrote in, saying the one decision that can break the oil monopoly at no cost to government is to give motorists more choice.

"Introduce an open fuel standard and give motorists a choice at the pumps between the cheapest fuels on any given day, whether it be petrol, ethanol or methanol, or any mixture of them.  

"Then see if the petrol companies would dare raise prices at will ever again." 

He said this was done in Brazil, and further noted that South Africa does have  legislation to make it possible.

"This is in the Western Cape Government Provincial Land Transport Framework. It just needs the public to support it," said Cloete.

Dawie le Roux pointed out that to help save fuel, government should do its part to improve traffic flow.

"Like more lanes at intersections, and use yield signs for left turn where needed."

He said speed bumps should be removed, and suggested using fixed speed cameras.

"This will also help save lives, as the fire brigade and ambulance won’t have to slow down for each hump.

"Unnecessary four-way stops, rather use a circle, two-way stop or yield signs," le Roux advised.

Improving traffic flow, he said, will also have the added bonus of reducing air pollution.
Staying on the environment-friendly aspect, Kevin Marques commented on Facebook that South African cities should have a look at European cities for helpful tips.

"Cape Town residents can look at Amsterdam and start using bicycles instead of vehicles.

"It will be good for the environment and save you cash and also keep you fit."

Direct Axis suggest the following tips to save on petrol:

* Lighten your load
* Avoid excess idling
* Service your car regularly
* Switch off the aircon
* Check your tyre pressure

 - Fin24

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