The skyrocketing fuel prices could adversely affect society, including the business environment in the country, which is already under pressure, said Alex Monchusi, BOCCIM President.
“Currently the business environment in the country is below par and the increase in fuel will definitely add more pressure,” he said.
Last week on Thursday, retail price costs of fuel rose significantly, both unleaded and lead replacement petrol has been increased by 40 thebe per litre; diesel has also increased by 51 thebe per litre whilst illuminating paraffin has been increased by 50 thebe.
According to Monchusi this is bad news for both vehicle owners and consumers.
“The ripple effect of the hike will hit consumers who are paying more at the pumps but in the long run it means higher prices for goods and necessities, such as food as transport costs steadily rise,” said Monchusi.
In addition, he said the increase has come at a wrong time when we are approaching the festive season.
“This will have a further knock-on effect on consumers as they attempt to keep up their usual festive season spending,” he said. He added that pressure during the festive season is inevitable as the latest bout of fuel price increases filter down the economic price chain.
Monchusi said the rising fuel price will affect the transportation business, leading to an increase in rates, meaning more costs for businesses based on transport.
He added that the poorest of the poor would suffer as the price of food and other day-to-day items would increase.
“It is certainly bad news all round,” he said.
Monchusi said the increase would have a negative effect on Batswana, the biggest one being less money in people’s pockets.
Phil Peters, a motorist who is already feeling the heat said, “This definitely has an impact on my pocket. In December everyone wants to drive about — I want to go to Durban and this increase is going to kill my budget.”
The price adjustment has been necessitated by the continuing under recoveries as well as high international oil prices. In August 2011 crude oil prices averaged US$110.22 and they increased slightly September 2011.