Motorists can expect a big petrol price hike in March, due to rising global oil price, a weaker rand and the introduction of new fuel taxes.
According to the latest data from the Central Energy Fund (26 March), South African motorists should anticipate a hike at the pumps of 104 cents per litre for 95 petrol and 106 cents per litre for 96 petrol.
Diesel is set to increase by 56 cents per litre.
However, these prices are expected to increase even further as finance minister Tito Mboweni announced new tax hikes in his 2019 budget speech.
This includes a hike in the general fuel levy by 5 cents, as well as a 15 cents increase to the Road Accident Fund levy for petrol and diesel which will also take effect from April 2019.
This combination of price increases and taxes could see some motorists paying more than R1.20 per litre extra for petrol (R1.24 for 95, and R1.26 for 93).
Aside from making life much more difficult for motorists, the petrol price hike is likely to have a wider impact on consumers, as the vast majority of goods in South Africa are transported by road, says Dawie Roodt, chief economist at the Efficient Group.
Here is what you can expect to pay:
|Fuel||March Official||April Expected|
|0.05% Diesel (wholesale)||R14.06||R14.82|
Neil Roets, CEO of Debt Rescue, said coming on top of the current load shedding catastrophe it is questionable just how much more consumers can bear before South Africa goes into a full-scale recession.
“We are seeing daily records being set by the number of distressed consumers who are knocking on our doors the be placed under debt review,” he said.
“For many even that is no longer an option because they have become unemployed as businesses that employed them have had to shut their doors.”
“The current inland price for a litre of 95 octane unleaded petrol is R14.82. If the estimated increase goes ahead, this will rise to R16 a litre.”
Roets said the fuel levy alone has risen by more than 22% in the last three years and when the carbon tax kicks in later in the year, this will cause a further spike in the price of all grades of fuel.
While the overall increase in the price of crude oil played a major role, the weakness of the local currency against the dollar was a major factor, he said.