South Africans find new ways of drastically beating high fuel prices

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Burdened by record high petrol prices cheeky motorists in South Africa have devised strategies of beating the high prices. Just fill up and speed off without paying.

Burdened by record high petrol prices cheeky motorists in South Africa have devised strategies of beating the high prices. Just fill up and speed off without paying.

In the past two days dozens of motorists have been doing just that.
Yesterday a man reportedly stole R2 570’s worth of petrol at a petrol station in Pretoria and later thanked the petrol attendant with R10, a cool drink and some biltong before disappearing.

The petrol attendant who media reports identified his as Frans Makgobatlou, 20, said the man arrived there about 19:30 “He told me to fill up the car and then to fill up the six 25-litre containers that were in the boot with petrol.” Makgobatlou is quoted as saying. The man said he would tip him well if he was quick.

Makgobatlou said he had put petrol in the car first and then in the containers. Then the man went to the shop at the petrol station. When he came out, he gave Makgobatlou a cool drink, some biltong and R10.

“He asked me to fill up six other containers that were in the car, which I then did. “When I was finished with that, he asked me how much the cheapest oil was at the petrol station. I said R16.60 and he asked for four tins.” When Makgobatlou returned with the oil, the man was gone.

In another incident six men were caught in Mpumalanga after hijacking a truck with a load of diesel. Captain Leonard Hlathi said the truck was stolen from where it had been parked near Witbank coal mine about 05:00.

The truck was carrying 600 000 litres of diesel and only found outside Middelburg without its load, said Hlathi.

The South African government has warned motorist that they should brace themselves for a missive fuel hikes “soon”. It would be sold at R16 a litre up from the current R12 a litre.

Oil prices have been on the high recently and on Friday morning crude oil was pegged at $136.68 a barrel but still within sight of last week’s record $139.12.

Meanwhile, there was relief in South Africa yesterday when Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni announced a 50 basis point hike – instead of 100 basis points – in the repo rate to 12%, bringing the prime overdraft rate to 15,5%.

The hike was the tenth since the rate hiking campaign started in June 2006 and came in response to a serious deterioration in the Reserve Bank’s inflation forecasts. Food and fuel are mainly to blame, but other aspects of inflation are also making their presence felt.

The markets had expected a 100 basis point increase in the repo rate after Mboweni had made some extremely hawkish comments in recent speeches and off-the-cuff statements to the press.

High cost of living  In the past year alone, food prices have shot through the roof while other household essentials have undergone unprecedented price hikes. Coupled with a global financial meltdown, this situation has been mostly harsh on the poor. The Haiti food riots which began in April, 2008, quickly spread like wild fire to Egypt, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cameroon... According to experts, this situation was in part created by careless government policies, the rising popularity of bio-fuels as well as the global financial crisis, among other factors...
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