All grades of petrol are set to increase by 93 cents a litre on Wednesday (5 September) at midnight in South Africa, while the cost of diesel is set to jump up by 69 cents a litre. The hike in price brings the price of petrol in the Gauteng region to R11.97 a litre and R11.62 at the coast.
“It looks like the cost of petrol will remain expensive for some time to come and I can see Gauteng going over R12. Even if the price increase by 10 or 15 cents next month, petrol prices will still be high. The bulk of the poorest people will be hit the hardest as taxi operators will be forced to pass on the petrol costs to consumers,” said Gary Ronald, spokesperson for the Automobile Association South Africa.
The Department of Energy said in a statement on Friday: “This increase is necessary in order for service station operators to finance the wage increases for service station pump attendants and cashiers agreed upon at the Motor Industry Bargaining Council (MIBCO) in September 2010. This increase in the retail margin to accommodate wage increases is ring fenced and should be excluded from determining rental fees between service station operators and service station investors.”
The price hike was also due to the rising prices of oil and the average rand/dollar exchange rate which weakened in the review period (27 July to 30 August 2012). The DoE said: “During the period under review, the average international product prices of petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin increased. The average Rand/US Dollar exchange rate weakened when compared to the previous period. The average Rand/US Dollar exchange rate for the period 27 July 2012 to 30 August 2012 was 8.2758 compared to 8.2657 during the previous period. The weakening of the Rand against the US Dollar decreased the contribution to the basic fuels price on petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin by 0.84 c/l, 0.87 c/l and 0.86 c/l respectively.”
While those with fuel efficient cars can count themselves lucky but if you, like the majority of drivers in South Africa, are struggling from the petrol price increase, Justmoney has produced a guide on how to drive to save fuel.