Energy department intervenes to keep petrol price increase down

The 4.9c/l increase will cater for the 'annual salary increase for forecourt attendants, cashiers and other administration staff' (Bloomberg)

The 4.9c/l increase will cater for the 'annual salary increase for forecourt attendants, cashiers and other administration staff' (Bloomberg)

On Wednesday fuel prices will increase by just 4.9c per litre, the department of energy announced on Monday.

This is below the 23c to 25c per litre increase expected by the Automobile Association.

In a media statement, the department said that South Africa had witnessed “sustained increases in fuel prices for the past few months, which placed a strain on the consumers”.

“Despite the fact that these increases were caused mainly by international factors, the department has decided to intervene temporarily for this month. This is a once off temporary intervention to provide some relief to motorists and consumers against fuel price hikes,” the department said in a statement.

The 4.9c/l increase will cater for the “annual salary increase for forecourt attendants, cashiers and other administration staff,” it said. This annual increase is in line with the Motor Industry bargaining Council agreement reached on November 18 2016. “This money must be ring-fenced for the wages of the forecourt staff.”

The total increase has been rounded up to 5c/l and will apply to both grades of petrol, with effect from September 5. The price of diesel, paraffin and LP gas will remain unchanged.

The department’s decision comes after the Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe, told the portfolio committee on energy in August that there is no “quick fix” to the high fuel prices and it will require “multi-dimensional efforts”.

Radebe said that the fuel price was driven by international factors — such as the rand exchange rate, the international price of crude oil. — Fin 24

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