Durban – Hundreds of motorists in KwaZulu-Natal were caught in traffic congestion on Wednesday after activists from the #FuelPricesMustFall campaign blockaded roads in Durban, Chatsworth, Ballito, oThongathi and Pietermaritzburg.
The #FuelPricesMustFall campaign said they wanted to raise awareness of the impact escalating fuel increases were having on ordinary people and hoped the government would listen to them.
“Enough is enough,” said Paul Jenkins, #FuelPricesMustFall co-ordinator who spoke to the Daily News from the N3 in Pietermaritzburg, where cars and trucks had blocked off the N3 Durban and Pietermaritzburg bound carriageways on Wednesday.
“South Africa supplies fuel to surrounding countries, but why are our fuel prices higher? How should our people survive in this country? The government needs to downgrade the fuel price immediately to at least R8 per litre. Nobody can work and survive at these costs. Food, transport, daily living expenses are way out and our people are suffering. We stand by our rainbow nation. Say no to fuel levies and increases,” he said.
Jenkins’ campaign is a separate campaign to that of Durban activist Visvin Reddy who has convened the People Against Petrol and Paraffin Price Increase (Pappi) campaign.
Like Jenkins, they are lobbying the government to bring down the price of fuel under the banner of #FuelPricesMustFall.
On Wednesday, KZN Traffic groups on WhatsApp said trucks and cars were gathering at the Liberty Midlands Mall and New England Road as part of the #FuelPricesMustFall campaign.
Jenkins confirmed this saying that the impact had caused streets in the CBD to be congested.
Other protests have taken place on the R102 at Buffeldsdale in oThongathi and the M4 near Ballito.
At the blockades, people were handed Fuel Must Prices Fall stickers.
Jenkins hoped it would gain momentum.
He has created 105 WhatsApp groups since beginning the campaign a month ago.
In Chatsworth motorists also switched off their cars near the Mobeni Heights cemetery on the Higginson Highway. Some held placards and banners on the N2 freeway near Chatsworth to highlight the issue.
There were several reports of motorists tired of sitting in traffic, getting out of their cars and chatting to each other.
Reddy said People Against Petrol Price Increases (Pappi) was not involved in Wednesday’s protest.
“What is important is the people have decided to stand up and take to the street. These are ordinary citizens who don’t generally protest. They have had enough. They have realised the impact rising fuel prices are having on them,” Reddy said.