Fuel prices hit all-time high

Levy coming in April will add to the burden PLUS here's a taste of what it will cost to fill some of our most popular cars' petrol tanks

CONSUMERS will be dealt yet another blow tomorrow when the retail price of all grades of petrol goes up by 28c a litre, pushing the petrol price to an all-time high of R11.05 on the Reef.

The wholesale price of diesel with 0.05% sulphur will increase by 10.38c a litre, while the wholesale price of illuminating paraffin will increase by 4c a litre.

Last month the price of all grades of petrol increased by 34c, pushing the price of 95 Octane to a then all-time high of R10.95 a litre.

Over the past 12 months the price of petrol has increased by 22%, while the taxes on fuel have increased by 11%.

As if that was not enough, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced in his budget speech that the general fuel levy on petrol and diesel would be increased by 20c a litre and the Road Accident Fund would increase by 8c to 88c a litre.

These levies will take effect on April 4, meaning on top of the current increase an additional 28c will be added to next month's petrol price rise.

At the moment motorists are paying R10.77 for unleaded 93, and tomorrow they will begin paying R11.05.

As of April 4, an additional 28c will be added on to the petrol price.

* A Polo Vivo 1.4 takes 45 litres to fill to capacity, which means the motorist will pay R497.25 for a full tank.

* A BMW X5 4.8i takes 85 litres to fill, meaning its owner will spend R939.25 for a full tank.

* A Golf 6 1.4 takes 50 litres to fill and the owner will pay R552.50 to fill it to capacity.

Isaac Matshego, economist at Nedbank, said the fuel price was determined by international oil prices and the exchange rate of the rand.

"Higher fuel prices effectively reduce disposable incomes of consumers as they cut the money that consumers can spend on other goods. As a result, they have a direct impact on overall consumer demand," Matshego said, describing the impact of the increase on the consumers.

"The increase in the petrol price, which now totals 56c a litre since the beginning of 2012, will have a direct impact on inflation as transport costs rise. Diesel prices also raise transport and production costs," he said.

Matshego said the fuel hikes had long-term effects on inflation.

"As fuel is so crucial when it comes to transport and production of goods in the economy, higher fuel prices tend to raise overall price levels and this can have a negative impact on overall growth."

Metrobus spokeswoman Esther Dreyer said the company was part of the City of Joburg and that only one fare increase took place a year.

"Our fare increase is always on July 1. When we draft our increase we take it as close to the CPI (consumer price index) as possible. It has been sent to the city but it has yet to be approved," Dreyer said.

Phillip Taaibosch, general secretary of the SA National Taxi Council, said he could not rule out the possibility of an increase in taxi fares. He said Santaco looked at commodities, including the price of petrol and diesel, tyres, parts and oil, before raising fares.