/ 31 January 2023

Petrol and diesel prices going up from Wednesday

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The retail price of petrol will increase by 37 cents a litre from Wednesday for both the 93 and 95 octane grades

From Wednesday, the price of 93 and 95-grade unleaded petrol will rise by 28 cents a litre while the cost of diesel (0.05% sulphur) will increase by 9.16 cents a litre. 

South Africa’s fuel prices are influenced by global oil prices and the rand exchange rate because the country imports both crude oil and finished products, which are priced in US dollars.

The department of mineral resources and energy said in a statement on Tuesday that petrol prices were going up because the cost of crude oil increased from $85.08 a barrel to $86.16 during the period under review, the main contributing factor being the re-opening of the Chinese economy. The Asian giant is one of the biggest consumers of oil in the world.

“The movement in international refined petroleum product prices, diesel, petrol and illuminating paraffin in particular followed the increasing trend in crude oil prices, while the prices of LP Gas decreased due to lower propane and butane prices during the period under review,” the department said.

The latest price hikes will push the petrol price in Gauteng to about R21.68 a litre from Wednesday. The wholesale price of paraffin will also go up by 58 cents a litre. 

The Automobile Association (AA) had forecast a petrol price hike of 52 cents to 57 cents a litre and increases of 22 cents and 33 cents a litre for diesel.

“The data is showing that price increases to international petroleum products are the main driver behind this expected increase to local fuel prices. Any increase to fuel prices now, at a time when South Africans are grappling with, among other issues, financial pressures and rolling blackouts is unwelcome,” the AA said in a note.

“We again want to urge the government to revisit the fuel pricing structure with a view to finding ways to mitigate against this and other possible increases in future.”

The association urged Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, who will table the budget in parliament next month, not to hike fuel levies. 

“Consumers can simply not afford any more price shocks, and considering the impending 18.65% increase to electricity rates, an increase to the levies will deal a massive blow to personal finances,” the AA said.

Energy regulator Nersa approved the electricity tariff increase for 1 April. 

“Consumers continue to be extremely embattled and increases to the two fuel levies will be counter-productive, are ill-timed, and have disastrous outcomes for millions of people already struggling to make ends meet,” the AA said.