South African motorists should gear themselves up for more petrol price pain in September, as the weakening rand is set to lead to a sizeable jump at the pumps next week.
According to the Automobile Association (AA), citing the latest data from the Department of Energy’s Central Energy Fund, petrol prices are set to increase by between 23 and 25 cents per litre, with diesel expected to climb 28 cents per litre.
Illuminating paraffin, meanwhile, should be up by 17 cents, the group said.
The main reason for the hike, the AA said, was down to the weakening rand.
“International petroleum prices remained virtually unchanged on average during August. But, the rand lost substantial ground against the US dollar, increasing the landed price of fuels,” it said.
This hike will for the first time push the cost of 93 unleaded octane fuel (inland) above the R16 per litre mark – with worse still to come.
“Looking to the future, the September outlook is bleak. The rand remains under pressure and a recent spike in international oil prices could mean more pain at the pumps if it continues. A return to cheap fuels doesn’t look likely and consumers will continue to be forced to economise,” the AA said.
Consumers have been hit hard by sharp fuel hikes over the past several months, and some economists have warned that South Africans should expect fuel prices as high as R17.90 by the end of the year, and could go as high as R20 per litre by the end of 2019, on a weaker rand, and rising oil prices.
Rising fuel prices are felt across the economy, with current rates already leading to a decline in visits to service stations and retail outlets as consumers try to cut spending.
The government has promised to look into ways to dampen the blow to consumers, but has not yet produced any plan of action, beyond saying it will ‘look at’ the fuel levy.
|Fuel||August official||September expected|
|0.05% Diesel (wholesale)||R14.41||R14.69|