Despite the recent furore over the Western Cape's high licensing fees, its provincial treasury now wants to add another fuel levy.

Despite the recent furore over the Western Cape's high licensing fees, its provincial treasury now wants to add another fuel levy.

The initial levy would be 10 cents a litre and could increase to 50 cents. The Western Cape provincial treasury plans to hold public meetings to find out if the public would agree to a proposed fuel levy. If approved, the levy would be paid on all petrol and diesel sales at fuel stations.

A new fuel levy would mean that Western Cape motorists pay an additional levy on top of the current one used to subsidise the struggling road accident fund. And while the province's licence fees are the highest in the country, they too will increase by five per cent in April.

As the reported, the province's transport MEC, Tasneem Essop, recently said the reason for the high licence fees was to enable the province attain the R2,1 billion needed for road infrastructure and maintenance.

The spokesman for the Western Cape's finance and economic development department, Thabo Mabaso, cited the same reasons for the proposed fuel levy.

"We have a backlog of R2,1 billion in upgrading and maintaining roads," he said. And perhaps the fuel levy is one way to look at getting in money to fix our roads. It is still only a suggestion. We will test it with the public and see how they react."

Neither the Cape Regional Chamber of Business nor the Automobile Association (AA) supports the idea.

The Chamber's deputy director, Colin Boyes, said the high licensing fees and fuel levies would harm the province's economy.

"All these tariffs have a cumulative effect which is saying business is not welcome," Boyes said.

AA spokeswoman Petro Kruger said: "We've been asking for a dedicated national road fund, not a provincial fuel levy. We feel that motorists are being made easy targets."

Original article from Car