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Deputy director general for petroleum and petroleum products regulation at the Department of Energy, Tseliso Maqubela, said on Tuesday that research into the feasibility of a fuel price cap was not yet finished.

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On the sidelines of a meeting of Parliament’s oversight committee on energy, Maqubela told Fin24 that another month remained to collect inputs to inform the research process.

“We will continue to accept submissions until March 31. From that point on we must engage with the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation to ensure that there is coordination between the department and the rest of government,” said Maqubela.

During the portfolio committee meeting, Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe said next month’s fuel price announcement would be informed by international dynamics which had “a negative impact” on the fuel price locally. This suggests that motorists will be paying more for petrol and diesel come March. 

Capping the price 

Government started investigating the feasibility of a cap of the fuel price in late 2018 when petrol and diesel prices hit all-time highs. 

Capping the price has been criticised by some economists, who say it will become an immediate drain on the state’s finances. Once instituted it would be politically very difficult to do away with it, they said.  

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