At least 90% of South Africans had pledged their support for the mass shutdown planned for this Friday against fuel price increases, the organisers have said.
People Against Petrol and Paraffin Increase convener Visvin Reddy said it was all systems go for the planned shutdown, and co-ordinators across the country were garnering support.
Reddy urged other citizens not to use public transport or private cars on the day, as the roads would be unusable.
The Durban-based businessman said the organisation was in talks with taxi associations, bus unions and all other transport stakeholders to secure their support for the shutdown.
He said attempts to hold talks with the government had come to naught.
“At the rate things are going right now, petrol will cost around R20 a litre and unfortunately these increases affect the poorest of the poor the most,” he said.
“So, since the politicians we have elected to speak on our behalf have decided to keep their silence, it’s time for ordinary citizens to stand up for ourselves.”
Reddy said the explanation by the government that the increases were a result of the price of crude oil and the rand exchange rate were baseless.
He said Sasol fuel was produced locally, and as such, the government had all the means to make the company bring down its prices to R8 a litre.
With this price range, Reddy said, they would force other oil giants to also toe the line and bring their prices down too due to competition.
“South Africans are already being burdened by the 38% in tax they pay, of which R20 billion goes to the Road Accident Fund. However, because of mismanagement, those funds are not benefiting the people,” he said.
Reddy said coming together to force the government to heed the call of citizens was not an impossible feat.
He said similar sentiments were made when the #FeesMustFall campaign first started, but in the long run it achieved the desired results.
He said that for the government to continue with increases, it gave the impression that it did not care about its people.
Reddy said further details regarding the protest would be provided during the course of the week.
Petrol has increased four times this year alone.
Tshwane metro police spokesperson Isaac Mahamba said the department had not been formally informed about the planned shutdown and thus could not comment on the impact it might have in Pretoria and surrounds.