South African motorists are facing yet another fuel price increase from Wednesday, September 4, and while last month’s hike only applied to petrol, this month those driving diesel vehicles will also have to dig deeper.
According to the Department of Energy, the cost of all grades of petrol will increase by 11 cents a litre from midnight, but both types of diesel will see a 26 cents a litre rise.
So how much will you be paying at the pumps from Wednesday?
As shown in the table below, 95 Unleaded petrol surpasses the R16 a litre mark inland, with 93 Unleaded moving up to R15.83, while those at the coast will now pay R15.39 for a litre of unleaded.
It’s worth noting though, that because diesel is deregulated, the department only releases wholesale prices. We have however come up with estimates based on the forecourt prices at a sample of stations that we visited. Interestingly, prices varied by over R1 a litre in cases, so it certainly pays to shop around for your diesel.
The cost of fuel: September 2019
|Inland||Price per litre|
|Petrol: 93 Unleaded||R15.83|
|Petrol: 95 Unleaded||R16.03|
|Diesel: 50ppm (wholesale)||R14.63|
|Diesel: 50ppm (forecourt estimate)||R16.21 (est)|
|Petrol: 95 Unleaded||R15.39|
|Diesel: 50ppm (wholesale)||R14.19|
|Diesel: 50ppm (forecourt estimate)||R15.77 (est)|
The key reason for September’s increase is the sharp weakening of the rand during the month of August, the local currency having depreciated from an average of R14.05 during the previous month to R15.15 during the period under review.
However, much of the impact of this was absorbed by falling Brent Crude oil prices, which decreased from $64.10 a barrel to $58.80 during the same period. This 9 percent dip came largely as a result of the US vowing to impose new tariffs on Chinese imports.
With oil currently trading at $58.60, early indications are that there could be a small reprieve for petrol prices in October if current rand and oil trends persist, however it is to early to predict with any certainty.
South African petrol prices remain historically high, currently R1.10 below the all-time high recorded in October 2018. Prices fell by over R3 a litre between then and January, however a spate of smaller increases this year have eroded most of that price relief. Adding to the pain, fuel taxes also increased by 30 cents a litre in 2019.