The decision by the Western Cape provincial government to consider introducing a provincial fuel levy has been opposed by various organisations, including the ANC.

It emerged last week that the provincial government was considering introducing a fuel levy over and above the national levy that motorists must pay.

Finance MEC Ivan Meyer said the province had employed consultants to consider the viability of a provincial fuel levy. The provincial government needed the money to maintain and build roads in the province, he said.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) said on Monday it was “deeply concerned by [Meyer’s] investigation into the viability of a provincial fuel levy”.

“As far as Outa is concerned, the citizens of this country are overtaxed and have shouldered the burden of maladministration for far too long. The mere mention of an investigation into provincial fuel levies cannot and should not be tolerated,” said Rudie Heyneke, Outa’s transport portfolio manager.

He said the the national fuel levies were increased by a total of 52c a litre earlier in 2018. The total general fuel levy and road accident fund (RAF) levy stand at R5.30 a litre of 93 octane petrol. To fill up a 60l tank, motorists will pay R318.00 in fuel levies.

“Taxes and levies already make up an above-average portion of the existing fuel price. Any special tax introduced, approved and implemented gives government a foot in the door and increases on these are then just a matter of time,” said Heyneke.

He pointed out that the Golden Arrow Bus Company had already indicated that an additional provincial fuel levy would make transport costs more expensive for commuters.

Additional fuel costs will also influence the flow of goods, products and services, in this case, between the Western Cape and other provinces, said Heyneke.

“We will not go quietly and this statement is a warning to the Western Cape government and any other provincial government which is considering provincial taxes and levies. Outa will oppose any additional levy which we know will have dire consequences for residents at all levels of the economic spectrum,” he said.

ANC Western Cape finance spokesperson Carol Beerwinkel said the DA’s plan to introduce an additional fuel tax will be devastating to poor and ordinary people.

She said the new tax will not only increase transportation costs by hundreds of rands per household, but will also see food prices soar as production depends on petroleum.

“The Western Cape residents already suffer under the drought and with the negative effects on farmers and food prices. This extra price shock on top of the most expensive of all provincial vehicle licence tax fees in the country, together with all sorts of parking fees, fines and tolls, this additional fuel tax will punish travellers and poor commuters most.

“An investigation in 2006 showed it would have a very bad influence on the macro economy, lead to job losses, hit the weakened fishing industry / community, will be impeding on consumer affordability and punish the poor. It was never implemented, but the DA now jumps to increase provincial general revenue by taking an extra dip into the taxpayers’ pockets. Another study is not necessary as the first clearly showed an extra tax is not feasible,” said Beerwinkel.