• The government advised South Africans to drive less following a drastic fuel price increase. 
  • The suggestion has caused widespread outrage on social media.
  • South Africans pay up to R5.30 in tax on each litre of fuel. 

The government has advised South Africans to drive less after the price of a litre petrol increased to R16 on Wednesday – the highest it has been in a post-apartheid South Africa. 

Read: After this week's increase, a litre of petrol will cost twice as much as Coke. Here's how it stacks up to other household items

A series of “simple fuel-saving tips” published on social media also advised South Africans to avoid driving in rush hour, carrying unnecessary weight on their vehicles, and to “accelerate smoothly.” 

But social media users were not happy. 

“How can we not drive during rush hour! When we go to work for the taxes, to pay for the corruption,” Sizwe Thwala commented. 

In reference to the R5,30 South Africans pay tax on each litre of fuel, Kabelo G Phoku wrote: “Simple fuel-saving tips: remove the unnecessary tax (heavy fuel levy) and road accident fund levy.” 

“Few of our cops going to have to lose some weight so that their cars aren’t overloaded with excess weight,” Mark Gardner said. 

And Muhammad Badsha said he thinks he might have been “following a fake account.” 

“Unless the government is trying its hand at light humour. Or maybe sarcasm.....,” Badsha wrote. 

After Wednesday’s increase, South Africans can now expect to pay R15.79 per litre petrol in Gauteng, and R15.20 per litre at coastal cities. 

The recent fuel hikes come shortly after May’s 49c litre fuel increase, and as South Africa’s GDP decreased by 2.2% in the first quarter putting additional pressure on consumers. 

The Automobile Association of SA (AA) warned that the country could have another fuel price increase next month if the rand continues to perform poorly against the dollar, TimesLive reported.

The recent hike would leave motorists with very little option but to cut down on other expenses in order to cope with the hike, spokesperson Layton Beard said. 

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