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Petrol price cut not as it seems

By Staff Writer

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Petrol price cut not as it seems

The Fuel price goes down tonight at midnight.

However there have been changes made to the zones that fuel is distributed in, so you may not get the price cut that you were expecting.

The South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) said yesterday that there had been significant changes to the zone differentials across all areas.

This is basically how much it costs to get fuel from the point it arrives in South Africa to the point where you fill up. These costs are specific to your area and will differ across the country depending on local fuel transport factors.

The Mail and Guardian explains all of these concepts more fully and also notes that in order to know what sort of price cut you will get you would need to consult the Government Gazette to do this. The Government Gazette is not easily accessible, with companies even charging subscriptions for you to see what should be publicly available information.

Business Day also followed this story stating that the price of fuel will drop tonight but it will drop by less than the figures given by the Department of Minerals and Energy after the review of existing fuel zones. SAPIA is currently not displaying these zones on their website, although there is a link there for them.

A spokesperson for Engen said that the magisterial pricing zones that existed are no longer reflective of the real costs involved in getting fuel to pumps. Engen met with the minister regarding one of their refineries in December.

The Department of Minerals and Energy lists the zones, but does not relate them to geographic areas on their website. They do however provide a breakdown of the various cost inputs in determining the price of petrol. This can be found here.

Business Day also noted that while the fall in the price of crude oil is good for the consumer with these price cuts being passed on by the government, oil companies were suffering with the massive drop in the price of crude oil. SASOL was quoted as such: 'Sasol chief financial officer Christine Ramon said that "for budgeting and forecasting purposes", Sasol estimated that for every $1 a barrel increase in the annual average crude oil price, Sasol's operating profit for the current financial year would increase by about $51m'. Oil companies make massive profits as can be seen from this quote.

In a human interest side to the story iAfrica interviewed a number of consumers as to how they expected the fuel price cut to affect them, with most coming in on the side of it making a huge difference to their lives.

Justmoney hopes that the fuel price continues to come down and that more money will be put in the pocket of the consumer this year.

However like we always say, get a savings account and do a budget. Then at least you will know what benefits you can get, and have a little nest egg, to buffer you if things go wrong.

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