petrolpumpBusinessLive reports that the agriculture sector, which is battling drought conditions and, more recently the global effects of the coronavirus outbreak, has welcomed a drop in fuel prices.  

It reckons it will have a positive effect on food inflation and will provide relief for farmers ahead of the harvesting period.  On Tuesday, mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe announced that the price of petrol and diesel would decrease 19c/l and 54c/l respectively, effective from Wednesday.  AgriSA’s Christo van der Rheede said this was welcome news for farmers.  However, labour federation Cosatu said that while it welcomed the fuel price drop, it was still not enough because it was likely to be “repealed by the pending tax increase of 25c that will see 16c going to the general fuel levy and 9c to the Road Accident Fund”.  Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said only a further reduction and “a steady drop” could give some respite to lower-income earners and poor households.  “They are struggling to survive under these difficult economic conditions. Hopefully, this reduction will continue because workers are spending too much money travelling to work and they are sliding deeper and deeper into debt because of declining wages.  An extra decrease in the price of fuel will be able to boost the purchasing power of most South Africans and, hopefully, lift the economy and help it recover,” said Pamla.

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