This morning the fuel levy that was increased during the Nhlanhla Nene budget speech has taken its first dig at the pockets of the people, majority of which are poor. This increase on the cost of petrol will be taking South Africa to new levels of unprecedented economic crisis; it will inevitably lead to a further increase in food prices, making it hard for people to eat in an already poor and struggling environment.
The South African economy continues to exploit workers without any reconfiguration to ensure that there is meaningful investment into productive sectors. The very fact that the state needed to increase Petrol as a means to collect more revenue is the greatest admission that there are no additional jobs it has managed to create. Worse, there is no meaningful plan in the pipeline to attest that new jobs will come in the near or distant future.
This petrol increase will undermine and render meaningless the 11 million social grants, as well as the already insignificant minimum wage. The general rise in prices of commodities like food, clothing, and other necessities as a result of the rise in petrol price, will not only undermine any wage or social grant increases, it will lead to more poverty and hunger.
This government has long demonstrated lack of ideas to improve the economy. The economic woes facing South Africa are also a direct failure of neoliberal economic planning. It is a failure of relying on markets to lead industrialization and economic growth: South African capital has failed to create sustainable jobs for over 30 years now. It is high time the country admits that only state led industrialization can save the country from total collapse.