South Africa’s Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe, has confirmed that the government is making plans to support South Africans amid recent petrol price hikes.

When he was answering questions in Parliament on Wednesday, Mantashe said he had met with Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana, to discuss the matter. He said that part of the plan is to contain the petrol price which is expected to increase in April and May.

According to Independent Media, Mantashe said that the Ukraine and Russia conflict is indeed having a negative impact on the price of fuel and that they need to find a mechanism to deal with it.

“The minister of finance raised the issue that in our discussions we are putting together a plan that is targeting April and May. The reason for that is that it is anticipated that the price of petroleum in April will go up by up to R2 ($0.14) and more,” Mantashe said.

“The intervention is intended to mitigate the impact of that increase and May is the second month and hopefully by the end of two months there will be the direction taken in the conflict itself,” he added.

Mantashe said that while the government is coming up with plans to contain petrol prices in the country, it hopes that when there is peace in Europe the price will go down systematically.

Mantashe also suggested localising the production of energy over the long term as one of the ultimate plans to lower the cost of fuel, according to Broad Media.

The government also confirmed that if the situation persists they will start rationing fuel, meaning people will have limits as to how many litres of fuel they may purchase.

“What we are working on at the same time is to avoid creating an impression that we can give up a lot of things and derail the fiscal framework that was announced in Parliament. We don’t want to do that. We want to intervene, mitigate against the impact of the high petroleum prices,” he said.

By Zintle Nkohla

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