The ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Wednesday warned the United States of unintended consequences arising from its trade wars with other countries.
This came after the South African rand continued its depreciation and the fuel price skyrocketed to its highest level ever. The ruling party blamed the United States for the rand depreciation and the fuel price hike.”The rand depreciation is beyond our control and is fueled largely by U.S. trade wars, the selling of assets in emerging markets and portfolio outflows,” the party said in a statement emailed to Xinhua.”We also accept that the fuel price increase is inevitable due to global crude oil prices increases” as a result U.S.-imposed sanctions on some oil producing countries, the ANC said. The ANC called on the U.S. to “consider the unintended consequences of its trade wars and the ripple effects its imposition of sanctions on some oil producing countries have on emerging economies.” “We also join the call on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to help lower fuel prices by increasing oil production,” the party said.
The rand, which has kept falling recently, continued its downward trend on Wednesday, decreasing 0.0316 or 0.23 percent to 13.6368 against the dollar, from 13.6684 in the previous trading session. Also on Wednesday, the petrol price increased by 26 cents a litre for 93 octane, with 95 octane fuel up by 23 cents, while diesel was hiked 26 cents per litre. The fuel price hike has sparked grievances and complaints from the public. The ANC notes with “deep concern” the continued weakening of the rand and the implications thereof for the country’s growth prospects and inflation targeting, ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said. The ANC is further concerned by the hikes in fuel price which is putting a squeeze on all aspects of life of fellow South Africans, he said. The rate at which the fuel price increases are happening “is unbearable and we can neither turn a blind eye nor wish them away,” said Mabe. The ANC calls for strong action to arrest this situation, he said.