Fuel hike sparks mass protest

Deputy director at the premier’s office, Mr Khumalo, receives the memorandum which was handed to him by Paul Jenkins of the Fuel Prices Must Fall Movement.

“We will not rest until the fuel prices drop drastically or else we will engage in mass protest action, by blocking all major highways throughout South Africa and bringing traffic to a standstill until our demands are met.”

These were the words of founder of the Fuel Prices Must Fall Movement, Paul Jenkins, who called on civil society to protest so that motorists can breathe a sigh of relief following the hikes in petrol prices.

Thousands of motorists across South Africa have joined the Fuel Prices Must Fall Movement and a memorandum demanding the decrease in the fuel price from R16,02 to R10 was served to the deputy director at the premier’s office, Mr Khumalo, for the attention of the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Willies Mchunu, in Pietermaritzburg, last week.

A placard demonstration was held outside the premier’s office and motorists echoed their sentiments of dissatisfaction and anger at the continuous increase in the price of petrol.

The memorandum is to be handed to the president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa. The movement is based in every city and has picked up thousands of social media followers and it is still growing.

ALSO READ: Six things you need to know about the rising petrol prices

Rachael Sayed from Montclair who is part of the movement said, “We want to make it known that we oppose the price and future planned increases of fuel in the country. The movement has planned countrywide mass action for Wednesday, July 18, Mandela Day, a movement by the people for the people. Our intentions are to block all major highways throughout South Africa, block all tollgates in KZN, rally peacefully in various cities and towns, and bring traffic on all major routes in KZN to a stop if our demands are not met.”

If nothing is done about the issue, their future plans include supplier blockages and boycotts, non-compliance on tax payments, industrial action, taxi association and union actions.

They are demanding that the president intervene immediately.

In the memorandum, members are demanding a task team to established immediately with the relevant ministers, suppliers, producers and leaders of protest groups as well as specialist economists, an interim presidential order is granted to maintain the price of fuel to a maximum of R10 a liter and any fuel-related prices and increases be vetted and authorised by the task team mentioned.

They are appealing to the president to hear the voice of the people and attend to the memorandum as a matter of national importance or they will have no alternative but to go ahead with their plans of national mass action.

According to a message on social media, the premier received the memorandum and forwarded it to the president.

  AUTHOR
Nikita Chiniah
Journalist

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