Petrol, toll fees to add to consumer debt burden

Johannesburg- Experts are warning that consumers are already owing R1.37 trillion in debt and will feel more of the pinch with higher fuel prices and toll prices increases in May.

Neil Roberts, CEO of Debt Rescue said in a statement that consumers will have to also contend with the 1% VAT increase.

The department of energy announced that petrol prices will increase by 49c/l on May 2, while diesel will increase by 59c/l at most. The Automobile Association also noted that toll fees have risen between 6% and 7%.

Roets said, “Why on earth SANRAL decided to hike toll fees now is beyond me when it has admitted that compliance is well below 40%. Drivers who use the highways are simply ignoring their toll fee accounts in part because many of them simply cannot afford to pay,” said Roets.

“Coming on top of the increase in VAT and the 52 cents a litre levy on fuel which kicked in at the beginning of the month, motorists and consumers in general are in for a very rough ride.”

Roets noted that they are noticing a hike on a month-month basis where consumers are getting into deep with debt collectors and they have now resorted to debt review.

He said, “That has become pretty much their last resort to hold on to the few possessions that have not as yet been grabbed by predatory debt collectors.”

According to Debt rescue figures, some people owe around three months or more for their repayments, he said, “We have gone past the point where consumers who aspire to join the ranks of the middle class can dream of achieving that goal.

“The new aspiration is to put sufficient food on the table to avoid family members going to bed hungry and the latest round of price increases are going to substantially aggravate that situation.”

Photo Credit- Twitter


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